Brain Hacking 401: Dynamic Teaching & [Breathing In] The Chemicals
Enthusiasm is contagious, so a teacher's job is to infect students. How?
Just do the opposite of what Ben Stein's character Mr. Cantwell, the pessimistic monotone nerd of a science teacher form the Wonder Years did.
Okay. That's a bad answer. First, being a nerd is pretty cool these days. Second, while being monotone is lame, it is a pretty tall order to always be "with it" and engage 100% of students 100% of the time.
But, whether we like it or not, this is how high the bar is placed and this is how high it should be placed. ONE HUNDRED FLIPPING PERCENT.
Can we get there? I don't know, but that's what I'm going for. I have a few brain hacks to help me along. They are by no means all there is. But, they are a start and they tip you off as to how you can activate chemicals in your students' brains. it's a kind of mind control...
Relax. No one is joining your cult. Unless your cult is teaching and it's dynamic.
Ever notice how a classroom is a reflection of the teacher and the predominant mood he is in? If the teacher is passive many students tend to be as well. But if the teacher is truly involved in his students' learning they tend to be the same way. So do it. Be enthusiastic about anything and everything. If it's hard for you? Fake it till you make it. Be Radioactive. Awaken to the possibilities, to new ways of doing things. Harness the inexhaustible energy and unstoppable will to accomplish whatever you set out to do. Do this, because your students will do the same.
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And Remember: You Have the Power to Change the World. Use it often.