It may be no surprise to you if you have already encountered a child who is asking many questions. Children can be a fountain of questions and ask things from matters about why the sky is blue, what stars are made of, why birds sing and many others. The word “why” in their questions also implies the overflowing curiosity they do have with regards to how eager they are to learn and dig for the answers they are looking for.
Another chapter of transitioning into a different learning setting of being in a school can however drastically affect a child with regards to the eager attitude in learning. With the standards of assessment in school that causes intense pressure, stress, and anxiety, it really is sad to observe how some of the students’ attitude towards learning becomes bland therefore leading to just being treated as a part of a routine compared to their early attitude towards learning which is marked by eagerness. As an elementary student, I really love to learn and I will even reach the lengths of borrowing almost every book in the library as these contain the materials where I can be able to learn more about the world around me. As I transitioned to my tertiary level in education however, it has really saddened me as to how I lost time to read more books in my school library as academic load increased because of additional responsibilities not only in accomplishing challenging tasks inside the classroom but also with regards to reaching the desired grades to maintain being in the honor roll and complying to responsibilities of positions in my school’s organization.
As I have transitioned to my college journey, it has been another tough challenge for myself to bring back the fire and real passion in learning. Just like in eating, I try to make the goal to not just gobble up the meal in front of me, but chew it carefully for me to enjoy every piece of what I am eating. In this college journey of mine, I have realized how getting the essence of learning is really important to prove how the information acquired from the topics can be beneficial throughout my life. As a full-time student with things to balance like being a volunteer of being a Bible teacher however, trying to enjoy the essence of learning is never been easy. Sometimes, I feel bad that I can’t keep in pace with readings and papers because of the juggling full load courses and outside responsibilities. Nevertheless, I know that despite being the turtle in this academic race, I can say that I ENJOY LEARNING.
The effect of the declined attitude of a child towards learning which is influenced by stress and anxiety in school can also be brought upon inside the classroom, therefore affecting both of the crucial processes of teaching and learning. With careful thought in mind however, a teacher can bring forth solutions before matters gets worse. Some of the essential tips that a teacher can follow with regards to nurturing the love for learning include:
- Always instill love
An effective teacher takes in mind that students are diverse in their abilities and skills. With this point, the book Thinking and Learning Skills also connects that children are threatened by failure that can spring from schools’ pressure with regards to assessment and the point of view of the society wherein one’s personal value is marked by competitive achievement inside and outside the classroom. Teaching with love therefore means that labeling of students of negative remarks such as “dumb” or “stupid” are avoided and that the feelings of students should always be considered.
Jesus’ love for children drove him to take time to teach them. -Mark 10:13
The magazine India Today also reports that anxiety from academic pressure can lead to teenage suicides. The instilling of love of teachers for the sharing of knowledge inside the classroom can indeed be a very significant factor not only for the students, but also for the more positive flow and interaction of the processes of teaching and learning. As a future teacher, I would like to imitate the Greatest Teacher who lived on Earth, Jesus Christ, because I want that my drive to teach others is not for the salary, but for the love and want to help others learn more.
Another great principle to follow is the one mentioned in the ancient book of wisdom, the Bible, wherein 1 Corinthians 13:4 says: “Love is patient”. Yes, one key to awesome teaching is to love by means of having patience and tact for the students wherein their natural desire to learn is supported and their own pace at succeeding in learning is being guided.
2. Communicate with students effectively
The book Inside the Brain reveals that some of the ways that can help students have the love for learning include praising of their accomplishments, responding to their questions, providing of guidance rather than command, and using of different words in a variety of combinations. These ways show that different methods make up the effective communication of teachers with students.
Enthusiasm about the opening of learning to all children is shown by preschool teacher, Lori Haggerty.
One of the most crucial qualities that a teacher should show in order to nurture the love for learning for his/ her students is ENTHUSIASM. The picture above shows Ms. Lori Haggerty enthusiastically teaching her preschool students. This beautiful quality of hers led to her to be a recipient of the 2014 Inclusive Education Practices Award and those who nominated her stated that Ms. Haggerty makes sure each student feels part of the classroom community and alongside her enthusiastic attitude are her “huge smiles, warm greetings, compassionate care.” The formula for the effective teaching with enthusiasm therefore starts with the teacher showing that he/she cares about the knowledge he/she is sharing to others. In the end, this attitude will glow through the teacher and will lead to the bright beam of the whole class.
3. Teach in various methods
Going back to a point from the previous paragraphs, another emphasis is that children have diverse attitudes, skills, and talents. With this in mind, an awesome teacher will also incorporate various methods of teaching ranging not only from spoken/ verbal, but also transitioning to the power of visuals to help students have a grasp on concepts that are difficult to imagine in the mind (an example includes math concepts that are abstract). The figure above shows 3 various methods that can be considered by the teacher to help students nurture the love for learning:
- Use of technology such as projectors to flash informative video presentations or films
- Use of charts or diagrams
- The creative use of tangible objects to help learner understand abstract concepts such as those discussed in Math classes
For this part, it indeed is beneficial to consider what Dr. Mel Levine stated in his book, A Mind At A Time: “ “To treat all children the same way is to treat them unequally. Different kids have different learning needs; they have a right to have their needs met.”
4. Show students that you love learning as well
Children are great imitators. With this, teachers in the classrooms should be the first individuals to show their own example of nurturing of the love for learning. Showing a good example of this aspect can also be seen in direct or indirect ways. Direct ways can include a teacher’s share of personal narratives to the class about his/her favorite topics to research and learn about. For the benefit of the class, a teacher can also discuss his/her own ways about the types of studying or researching that have proven to be effective to him/her. Indirect ways can also include a teacher spending her free time on reading, writing, or learning new things. These positive examples of a teacher can indeed contribute to the fueling of the students for their love of learning.
5. Relate academic lessons with life situations
Based on my observation as a learner, my classmates during my elementary and high school days dislike some of our subjects because of the issue that these are not practical to be applied in the real world. An effective teacher can therefore meditate on his/her topics in the subjects to be discussed and with this, he/she can develop some notes on how these can be applied in real world situations. One thing to be taken note as well is that real world situations referred to in this part do not only refer to routines of the everyday life, but also to the essential part of us as humans about the wise making of crucial decisions that can affect us.
Watchtower Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (2004).How to Nurture a Love for Learning. Awake!. Retrieved from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102004562?q=learning&p=par#h=26
Watchtower Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (2003). Learn From the Great Teacher [E-reader Version]. Retrieved from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102003021
Watchtower Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (2005). What Does the Bible Really Teach [E-reader Version]. Retrieved from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102005131?q=learning&p=par#h=6
n.a. (2015, February 27). Preschool Teacher Receives Award For Inclusive Education Practices. Retrieved from: http://www.isd191.org/isd191/news/201502/preschool-teacher-receives-award-inclusive-education-practices#.WWiAV4jyvIU
Macpherson, E. (2013, November 15). 10 Ways to Inspire a Love of Learning in Your Classroom. Retrieved from: https://www.weareteachers.com/10-ways-to-inspire-a-love-of-learning-in-your-classroom/
Philstar Global. (2015, June 15). Philstar.com file photo [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/06/15/1466151/challenges-basic-education-dealing-k-12
Watchtower Online Library. (n.d.). Jesus surrounded by children [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102003021
One 91. (2015, February 27). Lori inclusion award 2015 web [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.isd191.org/isd191/news/201502/preschool-teacher-receives-award-inclusive-education-practices#.WWiAV4jyvIU