To get students engaged in our classrooms, whether it is our lecture, activities, or the student salon, we must make the content relevant to them. It must be meaningful.
What’s in it for me? That is exactly what our students want to know when they come to class.
If a student thinks the class is not worth their time and effort, they probably will not engage in class. To make it meaningful, we must connect it to something the student is familiar with.
Connect it to their goals and dreams. Explain how this will impact their success in the salon, how it will help them achieve their goals.
We often relate things to the state board and the importance of knowing this in order to pass the exam. While that is important, don’t stop at the state board. Our students want to understand how this impacts their skills, future, and career, beyond the state board. We also want to help them see how this will impact them today as well.
To make your content relevant, use videos, tell a story, give examples from your career, use concept connectors, start class with a quote, etc.
Our lectures must be relevant, but we need to make activities relevant as well. Activities must relate to your content. What point are you trying to make with the activity? Don’t just toss in activities to keep the students busy or give yourself a break. Activities must be relevant. How do you make your classrooms and activities relevant?