7 Tips

7 Teacher Tips for Student Engagement

    1.  Strategy 1: Practice Self-care

      Remember you can’t pour from an empty cup! Take care of your needs first before you take care of others. If you are overwhelmed and feeling burnt out, your students will start to take notice. In order to give your best in the classroom and make meaning connections with students your health and wellbeing is crucial.

      Strategy 2: Make Personalized Connections with Students

      Students face many challenges that go beyond the classroom.  As educators you are in a unique position to help mitigate those risk-factors by cultivating a supportive classroom environment.  Take time to make meaningful connections with students by starting class with a check in or journaling activity, be available when needed, and be intentional. Provide unconditional positive regard to students even on the tough days!

      Strategy 3: Cultivate Student Growth

      You can help students develop the right mindset that is essential for success. Students enter your classroom with their own beliefs of self-efficacy. They may think they are either “smart” or “not smart” or “good” or “not good” in certain areas. The belief that basic qualities like intelligence and talents can’t be changed is called a fixed mindset. However, you can teach students that their abilities can be developed through commitment and hard work, which is called a growth mindset.

      Strategy 4: Give Student Choices

      Students learn in various ways, therefore provide them with choices for completing an assignment. Students will have more of an interest in demonstrating what they’ve learned when they have a choice on how to do so. Students will feel more empowered about their own learning.

      Strategy 5: Promote Participation with Reinforcement Systems

      Provide individual and group incentives that recognize students’ work habits, effort and dedication to encourage class engagement.  Students find different types of incentives motivating therefore include students in providing reinforcements ideas.

      Strategy 6: Prioritize Parent/Guardian Communication

      Make phone calls home to introduce yourself and establish rapport with parents/guardians. Communicate clearly and frequently to discuss students’ areas of concern and improvement. Don’t forget to make positive phone calls to acknowledge the students that are doing well and above and beyond in the classroom.

      Strategy 7: Collaborate with School Support

      You are not alone! When you have provided multiple interventions for unengaged students and minimal progress is made, seek support from the School Counselor, School Social Worker and other support staff. Focus on a student’s strengths and build on the positive attributes of the student.  A systems of support framework will help educators provide academic and behavioral strategies for students with various needs to address the concerns. 

4 practical strategies

Implement a culture of C.A.R.E., Community, and Embrace through self reflection, gratitude, support, and empathy.

    1.         1)  Encourage yourself – Look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself of why you do what you do. This can potentially change your mindset/perspective – Those who say they can and those who say they can’t are both right. It is great that other people may be encouraging you and that’s needed, but sometimes you need to encourage yourself instead of putting yourself down. “I was made for this moment.” “I add value to others.” “Other people need me.” “I can, I must, and I will!”


    1.          2) Attitude of Gratitude – Grateful people tend to cope better with adversity, sleep better, are happier and healthier, and exhibit lower levels of stress and depression. People enjoy gathering around a happy person. Gratitude sends out “good vibes,” and demonstrating gratitude enhances the relationships around you. One of the top goals in life is to stay mentally healthy, and gratitude helps with that.


    1.          3) Support group – We would advise to have a group of 2 to 3 or 3 to 4. This is a group where you can vent your frustrations, listen to other colleagues, and also gather wisdom from one another to learn how to handle certain situations. I believe support groups are vital because we all need some sort of community. Attempting to handle life on your own can be detrimental to your health. We weren’t meant to do life alone.


    1.          4) See the world from the students’ perspectives – Perception is not reality. Often, we judge people based on what we see on the exterior, when in fact, that person may be far from what we think. One of the major lessons I have learned in life is that some people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Seek to understand far more than to be understood. This develops empathy. Sympathy simply says, “I feel for you,” while empathy says, “I feel this with you.” 
4 practical strategies for

supporting students through distant learning .

    1. 1) Be You: Students know when educators are not authentic. Bringing your full self and culture to the space allows for them to do the same. It creates a culture of unapologetic realness and breeds student achievement through modeling and support.
    2. 2) Meet the students where they are: Schools are a microcosm of our society. Check-in with students about what’s going on in the world, community, and school at-large.  Having a learning environment without pedagogy that is relevant to their lives is a missed opportunity. More work doesn’t always mean more learning.  Real activities and appropriate discourse should mold with the time and pulse of the classroom.
    3. 3)Normalize community care: It’s often said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. You must be intentional about creating a culture that is accepting and supportive for everyone. Consider inquiring about things you can do to help students learn. Ask them about their favorite part of class and take inventory to implement more time for honest discussion while connecting them to appropriate resources.
    4. 4) Failing To Learn: These moments of growth are the best learning experiences. Let us be grateful for our successes but also reflect on our moments of failure. These moments are an excellent opportunity to grow and learn from them. Technology has many components; try out new tools like JamBoards for group activities, Storytelling for class assignments, or even Reminder to communicate deadlines and other important information. Figure out what works for you and your class. The saying goes, “when you know better, you do better. “
The Three c's

Strategies for Student Engagement during Distance Learning & Beyond: Make Connections, build bridges, & create impact

  1. 1) CENTER STUDENT VOICE AT THE CORE OF YOUR TEACHING: Survey students often, preferably before every grading period. Ask them about their current school experience, about your class, how they learn best, and have them reflect on activities that are meaningful. Be open to suggestions to make the class more engaging! Give students a voice, listen to their input, and report results back to classes and the intended changes you plan to make to cultivate a strong classroom community.
  2. 2)CELEBRATE STUDENTS OFTEN IN YOUR CLASS: Ask students how they would like to be celebrated. Acknowledge students in class, during your lesson, on your assignments, in the zoom chat, and encourage students to join in. Celebrate with music, make positive phone calls home, give students roles that play on their strengths and interests, start a student of the month in your class, send small care packages, or email messages.
  4. Being a critical educator is not what we do; it is who we are. Learn your students and their background. Create safe spaces where you check in often or provide resources when students are struggling. Assess your own learning as an educator through reflection with other critical educators at your school. Share best practices and lesson ideas, start that anti-racist book club, immerse yourself in professional development that is meaningful, contextualized, and personalized. Critically explore how to begin or continue centering the stories of your students through curriculum that is representative and inclusive. You can teach any standard through a culturally proficient lens.
5 tips


  1. 1) Budget: Redesign your budget to reflect the new priorities and new learnings that come up during distance-learning. You aren’t spending money during distance learning on copy paper and copy machine ink, so don’t be quick to tell teachers who have a new digital platform that they would like to use that you don’t have any money to support their interest.
  1. 2) Spend time in classrooms:  Make it a priority to be in digital classrooms every day. Be sure you were not always there in and evaluative role but rather to say hello to teachers, students, and staff. Our role is to intentionally mitigate teachers and students’ feels of isolation that have come with this pandemic. 
  1. 3) Staff Meetings: Step up your game on your staff meetings. If your staff meetings do not have a culture and climate of clarity of purpose, engagement, interaction, collaboration and fun, then you shouldn’t expect your classrooms to be engaging for children.
  1. 4) Student Attendance: Develop new framework for student re-engagement of students with attendance problems. Change your language you use with disengaged students from “where have you been”, and “why aren’t you in school”, to “we miss you”, “you’re important to us” and “how can we help” approach.
  2. 5) Get parent feedback:  Survey your parent community regularly to ask them how you are doing as a school. Share the feedback with your teachers and other stakeholder groups in a structured and purposeful fashion.