Students are struggling in our classrooms. More and more I hear from my students that, “I didn't learn anything today,” or, “I couldn’t keep up,” or, “My teacher isn’t very good.” But why is it that some students sitting in the same classroom, listening to the same teacher, having the same opportunity, don’t struggle? Is it because they are more intelligent? Is it because they aren’t distracted by a friend spitballing them across the classroom? Or is it because they are actually interested in the complexity of a frog’s intestines being splayed in front of them?
I’m Samuel Seymour and I tutor Maths and Physics. I graduated with an OP 1, have been tutoring for 2 years now and I can tell the intelligent, distracted and interested students from each other. I can say with certainty, that the most academic, the “seemingly” most intelligent and the best performing students ALWAYS have this in common:
No matter how smart you are, if you’re not engaged, you will not succeed. But this leads teachers to the question: How do you get students engaged? The answer is simple:
Satisfy their needs.
It’s about being relatable. If a student plays rugby, calculate the distance they run in a game. It’s about giving them choice.
A professional, a class, an activity. A change involving someone who can engage and build a relationship with them, will understand what they want and how to get it to them. By engaging one-to-one with a student, you can see their mind and direct their focus. It’s amazing the change in attitude a student has when you direct maths towards their life rather than someone else’s.
Author: Samuel Seymour