Rhythm & Views by Malik Stevens

Keeping Kids Interested in School

As we all know, some kids have very short attention spans and even more lose interest in activities quickly. As a result, the drop out rate in America is most definitely creeping up the ladder.

The kids either feel that they do not understand what their teachers are trying to get through to them, they are not entertained by what is being taught or, in a few cases, they just are extremely bored with the whole issue of school.
Teachers might find themselves teaching a class with half of the students sleeping, or in a day dream, and the other half doodling, or having a side conversation. When these same students reach home it is a constant fight to ensure that they complete their homework. 

It might seem impossible to get the students back on track, but that is absolutely wrong, because it is quite easy.

“Class was so boring,” said an island drop out who wished to remain anonymous. “I just skipped it all the time. To enjoy school I did stupid things that I thought was fun at the time, but I always got in trouble.”

“I got suspended so much I just stopped going to school,” he continued. 

This should not be the type of responses that we get about school from the youth of our island.

In the classroom there are a ton of things that a teacher can do to get and keep their students’ attention and help them enjoy what they are learning.

Getting personal always works. Tell students about your days in school, how you coped with boring subjects, and how it was to learn the same subjects from your perspective. Once people relate there will always be a better vibe in the classroom.

Make learning fun. Try turning some of the lessons into games and make sure lessons are interesting. Even if it has to be a lecture, make it exciting. Just because the kids are in English class does not mean all they have to do is read and write.

At the Gifft Hill School the United States History class plays Jeopardy at the end of each unit, the middle school math classes make movies in which they use math problems in every day situations, the World History class is mostly taught through amusing Power Point presentations, and the American Literature class always has projects that incorporate the students’ imagination, art, and critical reading.

A few other things which keep kids entertained and happy in the classroom are their seating arrangements, the projects they are given, the mutual respect shared between the students and teachers, and of course the teacher.
Do not tell kids where to sit unless it is necessary and do not give a 20 page paper on the formation of ice to island kids.

Respect the students even more than they respect you — it’s a bigger problem when the teacher is disrespectful than vice versa. Finally, everyone is not meant to teach.  Sorry to say it, but it is true.

The parents make a difference too. If they let their kids put off homework and projects all the time and show kids the many benefits of school, the kids get lazy and lose even more interest.

Kids are never too old for parents to help them with their homework or even to make sure that they are doing it. The theory of prohibiting kids from watching TV and playing games during the week makes kids dislike school even more. I would not suggest it.

To conclude, school should be somewhere kids love to be. It is learning and having fun with friends. So instead of having school be a dull and boring place, let us make it more enjoyable and keep kids interested and in school.