A few thoughts on engagement

Yesterday morning my school brought in Keith Hawkins to speak to us on engaging students and it was a fabulous experience. I would highly recommend him to anybody with the authority to have him come speak at your school. It was engaging, thought-provoking and a timely reminder about what is really important in school: engaging students in learning.  His main emphasis was how important it is to try and make those connections with students and he demonstrated this in rather neat and entertaining ways.  One of the nicest reminders, since he was talking to just the teachers first was how really important we are as role models.  We are far too often the only stable role model that many of our students see and we have the potential to have great influence.  It’s our attitude that makes a difference and he was very forceful in reminding us about the importance of being committed to our students and the school that we work at.  I was a little surprised about how forceful he was considering his audience, but sometimes we need people to tell us like it is (or in this case speaking truth to power).

I know that we often hear these messages but when presented in an amusing funny manner it can be really enjoyable and memorable.  One little acronym that I’ll never forget is FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.  A reminder that everyone makes assumptions based on what we think is reality and many times these are false assumptions.  It was a motivating way to start the day.

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