December is drawing near and so are the impending distractions facing students in your youth activity center.
Between gifts, glittery decorations and parties – the holidays can be a difficult time to keep students focused on training, technique and other important skills that require focus during weekly classes.
For those precious moments when you have students in class this holiday season, here are 5 things teachers can do to keep students attention at full focus.
5 ways to keep students focused from holiday distractions
Be clear with your expectations
Nothing contributes to productivity quite like team buy in. And when it comes to getting a group of children to collectively do anything you must clearly express your expectations of them at the beginning of class, every class.
As a teacher, possessing good communication skills is just as important as physically being able to instruct your students.
Be engaged during the holidays
Whether you have a holiday spirit week, facility-wide community service project or are preparing for a holiday program, it’s important to make sure you’re 100 percent checked-in during the busy holiday season.
Students can sense when a teacher isn’t giving their all in class, which can result in sub-par student participation. Monkey see, monkey do, right?
When creating lessons and planning for holiday classes, it’s great to include activities that excite you. Your enthusiasm will transfer to your students and keep them at full-attention when they are in class or participating in any community service project.
Be a fighting force against brain drain
When students are on holiday from school, it’s easy for a brain drain to set in. You know, where zero focus is given to anything, especially academics.
If your facility doesn’t already have a strategy for rewarding strong academic performance, the holidays are a great time to begin one.
Don’t know where to start? Consider letting your students break uniform for a week for making the honor roll or have lunch with their favorite teacher for reading a book outside of school during the holidays.
These are just two of the fun ways you can encourage your students to achieve academic excellence when they are on break for the holidays. The positive reinforcement you give them during class will not only help them become better students in school, but it will help keep them focused when they are in class with you, too.
Be observant and flexible
Keep your observation skills at their keenest during the holidays.
If you feel the pulse of class being to slow, make sure you have the flexibility to adjust your lesson on the fly. Pro tip: have some re-energizing tricks up your sleeve to keep your students focused if you need to pivot in a pinch.
Weekly goal setting and friendly in-class competition are a great way to keep your student’s eyes on the prize.
Do you use Jackrabbit’s skills tracking? If you do, take your weekly goals one step further to clue parents and guardians in on what their child has achieved each week during the holiday season.
Even if the holidays don’t distract your students, it’s always a good practice for teachers to be spirited and fun.
The holidays are a great time to incorporate things such as new, challenging technical skills or festive music. Why, exactly?
Taking on something new, such as technique requires concentration and focus, which is what you want in your arsenal to combat holiday distractions. Incorporating new music or festive, familiar favorites is a simple way to change the mood and energy level of your students with the click of a button.
When it comes to having fun in general– remember, your students can probably name ten fun things they could be doing instead of attending your class. So don’t skip this step to help keep your class focused.
What’s the bottom line?
Students generally stay engaged during the holiday season if you are fostering a wholesome environment in class, providing fresh and exciting activities and making each child feel appreciated.