I’ve been following the many different comments on student engagement–mulling over what it is that sparks those levels of engagement that we hope to promote or elicit from our students or ourselves. I’m working on a P.D. session that will be given on Thursday and knowing my audience very well I realize that their general amiability and/or willingness to try or listen (at least a little) isn’t enough. I realize that as the facilitator of this session I’ve also got to find the right hook, provocative statement, background, activity that will ignite or rekindle the teachers’ own desire to find out more. Not an easy task as we all find ourselves in the midst (or pathway) of the steamroller we call school. It’s demands are unrelenting and at times crushing. (attended a colleague’s funeral today)

Bonita asked about some of Jensen’s engagement strategies: one of the huge takeaways for me was understanding how teachers can exploit state-change and use it effectively. It requires a high level of energy from the teacher and the ability to precisely read one’s audience to do it effectively. We have several teachers who have mastered that art, however, and they consistently blow me away with their expertise–the students almost always rise to the occasion too and under most conditions perform far beyond what others may have expected of them. One doesn’t need to be quite as frenetic as what we saw in the second video (though I liked very much there) but it definitely requires teachers to become more “ear” than “mouth” I’ll add more to this later

This will be a place for my thoughts regarding Student Engagement particularly in relation to the P2P course that I am participating in. I’ve already received food for thought by way of the interesting links and posts of my fellow collaborators and I’m quite grateful for them. Currently, I am toying with the idea of teaching an online class that will be offered by my school district. I will be looking for ways to up the level of student engagement in what already will be a “disengaged” milieu. Of course, by virtue of the fact that one cannot participate in an online classroom without some level of engagement–now my fingers are typing words that I am thinking, etc–there may be some differences to consider in comparison to a traditional classroom. In any case, I will try to put down my thoughts, reactions, questions and comments here as I move through this course.