Whatsapp Chat
Get in touch NOW! Send us a message and the Shiminly team will contact you within 24 hours.

Recent Posts

Empower Students

4 Ways to Empower Your Students in Class

Written by Russ Gadzhiev, PhD

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer

 

“We are not put on this earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.” – Jeff Warner

 

Many teachers believe that what can make teaching productive and interesting is their personality. Or a good textbook. Some teachers also believe it is the technology they use in class. But although all of them may be right in their own way, the truth is that the answer is different. It is something intangible. What can truly make your teaching interesting is empowering students?

What do I mean by empowering students? Well, first of all, it is giving students strength, desire, and motivation to persevere in their learning. Learning is difficult sometimes but it does not have to be that way all the time. Learning can also be exciting and breathtaking. In this short article, we are going to discuss useful strategies that you can employ to empower your students. So let us have a look at them.

 

Involve your students by encouraging them to discuss “real problems”

Many students complain that what they are learning in class is not very useful when in the world outside school. While it may seem so at first, it is not the case. And it is your job as a teacher to demonstrate to your students that what they are doing is actually quite applicable in the real world. Incorporate activities in your class that will demonstrate to your students the utility of skills that they have acquired. You can do it in many ways – you can encourage your students to do volunteering work, or better yet, set up classes with debates. Offer your students topics that are currently discussed in newspapers, magazines, and on TV. It would also be good to find out what seems especially exciting to your students. So not only will discussing these topics be useful to them, but it will also ignite their interest in learning.

Although some teachers may feel unwilling to give their students free reign during class – and organizing debates certainly implies a form of freedom – the results can be truly spectacular. First and foremost, students will immediately feel that the knowledge they have acquired in class is actually something they can relate to. It is something that they can elaborate on and it is something that is not as boring as it once seemed to them.

Another good idea in that regard could be encouraging students to discuss problems in your local community. This is something that will truly empower your students and help them rekindle their interest in learning. Not only will they feel that they are learning something, but they will also feel that their opinion is going to make a difference in the place where they are living. Knowing that you are making an impact is gratifying and empowering.

Empowering students means many things. It is about helping them realize that they should take responsibility for their own learning and that learning is about enjoying their journey and not achieving a high score on their test.

 

Encourage your students to participate in creating classroom rules.

In our previous Shiminly articles we have already talked about the importance of establishing classroom rules. They give your students a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what consequences they will face if they break the rules. A very good strategy to empower your students is to involve them in the process of creating rules. How is going to positively affect them?

First, if students have participated in the creation of classroom rules themselves, then they will be more likely to follow their own rules. Such rules will foster a feeling of community in your students and will make them have a very different attitude to going to school in general. Of course, you should take part in creating classroom rules too, but only as a facilitator and supervisor. If your students want to introduce a rule, they will have to explain why this rule is important: how does it support students’ learning, how does it promote respect and other essential values of any other community?

If you see that your students are getting off track or struggling to create effective and useful rules make them brainstorm questions that will make their task easier. Ask them what kind of rules there should be in class to encourage respectful communication. Why is respectful communication needed in the first place? What rules should be there to encourage respect for the school’s materials and desks? What rules should be there to encourage students to prepare for their class thoroughly and consistently?

Finally, students should ask themselves what sort of treatment they want to receive from others and what kind of freedom they would like to have in class. The list of these suggestions could be endless but it is important for you as a teacher to evaluate the needs of your students as well as your strategies for teaching them.

 

Create a more student-centered classroom

Student-centered class is essential for empowering students and making them think critically as well as independently. Instead of lecturing your students, let them do all the work. You may say – or that is lazy teaching. But it is not. And you should not be afraid of creating student-centered classes. If you are not sure how to promote a student-centered approach in your class, you can check out our Shiminly articles.

One of the best ways to create a student-centered classroom is to let students work in pairs. For example, after you have explained the material, pair the students up and ask them to check each other’s understanding of the concept that you have just learned. Encourage stronger students to teach those students who are struggling. While they are doing peer teaching, monitor what they are doing to make sure that they are on the right track. Finally, you need to remember that it is not always good to be the expert in the room. While, by all means, as a teacher you have knowledge and expertise, your students can also teach you something. And let them do that. This will help you bond with them and create a productive rapport, based on which you will be able to keep empowering them.

 

Finding out what your students are passionate about is another key to empowering them and making them feel empowered

When you know what your students are passionate about, will help you to engage them. It will help you to create a subject that they will be happy to discuss. For example, if your students are passionate about economics, ask them to plan the budget of the city where they are living. Or if your students are passionate about zoology, take them out to a near zoo.

One more thing that you can do is to allow your students to assess each other’s work. You don’t have to do that often – but that may help your students develop critical thinking and the ability to see mistakes in their own work as well as in the work of their peers. Of course, you need to establish clear guidelines on how such peer assessment should be done.

Empowering students is crucial in many important ways. First, students will do better in class. They will be more active and they will be more willing to contribute to discussions in class. Secondly, there is one more, no less important point. Students who feel empowered have in mind not only their own needs but the needs of the community they are living in. Empowered students are more capable and they are more likely to become active members of society. They know what their values are and what they want to do in life.

Students who feel empowered think that they can do more. They go the extra mile to help their community.

 

 

 

 

 

Russ Gadzhiev obtained his PhD in history and politics from University of Melbourne. He also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Moscow State University of International Relations, a top-ranking diplomatic school. Russ is a strong education professional with a history of working in the higher education sector of Australia and effectively communicates with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. He is enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring, writing, curriculum development, research, information management and public speaking. He is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Teach with Shiminly!

Thank you for your interest in working with Shiminly! Please answer each question in as much detail as you can. You will not be penalized for not answering optional questions. After successful submission of this form, your CV, and your cover letter, Shiminly will contact you about moving on to the interview stage. * Required
General Info *
Please indicate your general teaching experience. *

Please choose all that apply.

Level of Education *
What are your current teaching qualifications?*

Request Callback

What Offering Are You Interested In?*
What is the best way to reach you?

Chris

UK

Chris is from Devon, in the south of England. He has been teaching English as a foreign language for over six years and has taught in China, the UK, Hungary and Spain. He has a background in Music and studied Composition at the RSAMD in Glasgow, Trinity Laban in London and at the University of York. After finishing his master’s at York, he travelled to China to teach and fell in love with it. He has been teaching ever since.

GDPR and Privacy Policy

European Union GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations)

The EU GDPR is designed to help all of us have more control over our personal data, and how is it used.

Who does the information GDPR apply to?

Data subjects, being all visitors and users of any website who are members of the European Union, and therefore who submit personal data. [replace name]  is the data processor and data controller of this site. You can find out more about this law here.

Privacy Policy

Effective from 25th May, 2018

This Privacy Policy sets out how we use and protect information that you may provide when you use this website.  Your privacy is protected and important to us. If you provide identifiable personal information it will only be used to help us fulfil your project requirements.

[replace name]  is the company who collects any personal data submitted through [replace url] 

We may update this policy periodically, please check this page to ensure that you are in agreement with any changes.

What We Collect

Personal information, basically any data that can be used to identify or contact you is collected so we can service your requirements.  This could include your name, business name, address details, email, telephone numbers, or information pertaining to your exhibition stand requirements. You may also at times be asked to leave a message about your enquiry or project brief. Websites also collect your IP address through the use of Cookies (find out more about cookies below).

If you opted-in to our mailing list, you may receive occasional emails on important updates or service information. You have the right to opt-out or and have any personal details removed at any time, please email [replace email address]

What We Do With The Information We Collect

Information is saved until the enquiry is dealt with, and then archived with the project or on cloud based systems if you are an ongoing client. We also retain your contact details and information in the emails you have sent, but you can request to have your personal details deleted at any time.

We will not sell, distribute, or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your express permission, or are required by law to do so. We may use your personal information to send you relevant information about services we offer, or information you need as part of the services we offer.

Data Security

In our continued commitment to ensuring that your information is secure and to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures in place to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

  • Data is stored on a secure cloud-based server or on a secure, password protected computer with limited user access.
  • Sending information over the internet is generally not completely secure, and we can’t guarantee the security of your data while it’s in transit. Any data you send is at your own risk.
  • We have procedures including 2FA, passwords, restricted access and other security features in place to keep your data secure once we receive it.
  • [replace name]  will NEVER pass on your personal data to third parties without first getting your explicit consent.

Controlling your personal information

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:

  • Whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website, look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used for direct marketing purposes
  • If you have previously opted-in to a mailing list, or provided other information, you can find out what information we hold, and ask us to remove or not to use any of it, by writing to, or emailing [replace email address]
  • You may request details of personal information which we hold about you.
  • If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to, or email us as soon as possible at [replace email address]  We will promptly correct any information.

Google Analytics

User and Event Data Retention

User-level and event-level data associated with Google Analytics cookies is retained for 14 months and then automatically deleted.

IP Anonymization

I have implemented IP Anonymization, simply put, the last three digits of your IP address are set to zeros in memory shortly after being sent to the Analytics Collection Network. The full IP address is never retained, or written to disk.

Cookies

This site also uses Cookies, find out more or manage them here.