California Educator

August / September 2018

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Page 21 of 71

Educators reveal their ways to keep kids interested in learning By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Photos by Scott Buschman How to Motivate Your Students Theresa Lunsford works with Carlos Guzman. "I don't care." M O S T T E A C H E R S have heard this declaration from a student. It's frus- trating and demoralizing, because most teachers do care deeply about the well-being of their students. Seeing a student put their head on the desk and tune out leads to soul-searching. Are you having an off day and not engaging students — or is it time for new strategies? Is something happening at home that's causing a student to act this way? Or has the "midyear slump" crept in? is typically happens after the holidays, when the excitement of the new school year wears off, routine sets in, and curriculum becomes more difficult. And students often pretend they don't care if they fall behind and need extra help. (Note: If you think a student's apathy may be related to problems with mental or physical health, depression, an undiagnosed learning disability, trauma, abuse, or neglect, share your concerns with your administrator, school counselor and school psychologist. Also, check in with the student's other teachers to see whether this is a problem in your class alone or in every class.) Whatever the reason for apathy, there are strategies to help get stu- dents back on track. Below are some tips from CTA members on how to help kids stay motivated. 20 BTS 2018 s p e c i a l i s s u e

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