How do we not kill students' motivation and enthusiasm?
Reflecting on our students' experiences, I have felt that we, teachers, usually kill students' motivation and enthusiasm right in the first week of the new school year. I observe that teachers give course outlines, assessment criteria and sometimes even homework in the first week of the school. For new students (coming from the PYP or other schools), I definitely think 'sink or swim' approach is sometimes unconsciously used. It is important for us to remember that students are social beings and they need time to build relationships and develop confidence before they can engage with any academic work.
On the other hand, teachers are also excited meeting their new students. However, they are often worried there is not enough time to plan their curriculum and assessment. If teachers are new to the school, they particularly feel overwhelmed with the new curriculum, new students, new country, new culture, and so on.
In order to create a win-win situation for both teachers and students, I am proposing to run a two-day MYP induction and orientation for the year of 2018-19 at my school. The purposes are for students and teachers to:
- build relationships;
- promote learning retention and foster self-awareness;
- establish a community of learners who are equipped with the learning skills;
- enhance international-mindedness and develop TOK thinking;
- help students and teachers explore diversity and expand their empathy potential.
How will the program work?
- strive for understanding;
- taking action ethically;
- and nurture passion in self and others.
- foster self-awareness;
- building experiences;
- expanding empathy potential;
- enhancing international mindedness.
In the two-day MYP induction and orientation program, we hope students will get to know their classmates in their grade and also peers across different grade levels. Many students will be anxious but also feel excited to meet their teachers. I have design "class carousel" and "physical activities" for teachers and students to get to know each other. ( I am thinking a tug-of-war between teachers and students could be fun.) "Ethical chocolate" is an activity to promote TOK thinking and encourage critical thinking skills.
I will update the details and resources later.
Note: Special thanks go to @alohalavina for the 'student panel discussion' activity and @sjtylr for the '30 circles challenge' activity.
Below is the modified two-day MYP Induction and Orientation Programme with details of the activities. If you are interested in obtain a copy of this slides, please leave a comment or email me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Slides #12-15 are made by @sjtylr. Here is the link of the wonderful "Getting Going in MYP: Student Orientation" resource prepared by @sjtylr.