Engage Their Hearts

--Originally published at Flipped Learning

#BeTheONE - Believe, Inspire, Motivate, Encourage, & Empower each student that walks through your classroom doors.

As I continue to reflect upon the current semester and the opportunity I have to teach an evening math class, I am witnessing first hand the importance of engaging students through their hearts! It is without fail, the single most important element of my flipped classroom this semester. Getting to know each and every student on a personal level has afforded me the ability to meet them where they are at, both educationally and emotionally.

Why a pair of worn boots for an image? The reminder for me is that no two journeys into my classroom are alike. One student comes from a very affluent home environment filled with support and encouragement. Another chose to travel miles from home to enroll in a program our college offers. Yet another comes in dirty, dusty, and tired from the 10-hour swing shift they just worked. Ironically, each one comes in the door ready to practice math and apply skills learned from each video lesson.

And when the struggles of life have set it in, the grim look on their faces quickly turns to a smirk when I am able to have a conversation about life with each student. Whether it be the car one student and their father are working together on each weekend, or the four-wheeler trip to the Upper Peninsula with friends. The ability to engage students through their hearts has paved a way to encouraging them in times of doubt and trouble, empowering them in times of hope and optimism. 

And it's all because of the time I have given myself in class to be present with them. Time to engage them in conversations about life outside of school. Time to motivate them to push through the challenging concepts while applying content to their program studies. Time to show them I believe in their abilities to do well in the class because I care more about who they are than I do about their grades! 

Today is the day to challenge yourself to #BeTheONE

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