A student can become disengaged for many reasons, and no matter the initial cause, helping them to become reengaged can be tricky. I believe the most effective method to turn this around is to take a more personal approach to reengaged a disengaged student, I also feel that this method not only helps to create that spark of interest once again, but it can also help to build healthy student and mentor relationships in the process. A few ways to reengage a disengaged student are:
1. Simple encouragement: If you notice the student is improving in a subject, or they’re making an honest effort, don’t shy away from encouraging them! A little bit of encouragement to people of any age can go a long way, and making a small celebration out of a small achievement is a great way to spark their inspiration once again. If you notice the student doing something particularly well, tell them that, and give them the little inner boost they need to regain their interest and reengage.
2. Be personal: Taking note of particular things that a student enjoys or finds solace in, and communicating to them about those things, is a great way to show that you care, and this level of caring does a great deal of good when it comes to reengagement. Notice that they love soccer? Talk to them about it. Have a favorite book or television show in common? Start up a conversation. This level of personal interest can help to engage the student, and engagement on a personal level is the first step to reengagement in the classroom.
3. Change it up: If you notice a gradual decline in engagement, it may be time to switch things up and give something different a try. With students of all ages, as things grow stale, they may become disengaged due to boredom or a lack of activity, but this can be helped by changing things to be exciting once again.
Engagement is important, it keeps interest up and inspiration abundant, but when a student becomes disengaged, it can be tough to light that spark once again.
What makes me unique: I present from the perspective of the disengaged student I once was. As a 19 year old inmate in the California Department of Corrections, It was an educator that changed my life by believing in me and helping me to believe in myself. In my professional development presentations, I layout what he did and how you can apply those same strategies to reengage the young students you work with everyday.