Administrators have different ways of assessing engagement when they do classroom walk-throughs. Some carry a clip-board and check off boxes, some even have fancy “clickers” where they actually push a button every time they witness a student on (or off) task. Ipads rest nestled in their arms, filled with notes and opinions on whether or not you’ve “got them.”
How do I measure engagement?
It doesn’t happen everyday, but every once and awhile, a student’s tweet will come into my newsfeed documenting something we did in class. “Tight Seminar got heck of heated today” #Mrsjones” or “finally know what a thesis is #dirtysecret.” It may be a picture of a poster we created or some kids performing, a juicy debate, or a photo of two kids hugging after making a connection.
A tweet...about school...about something POSITIVE about school...the ultimate compliment indeed!
I know not all of us are on Twitter (if not, get on - it’s amazing) but the idea behind the engagement is the message I want to unpack. What are you doing in your classroom that students feel the need to share? What have you done that has shocked them? Inspired them? Challenged them? Made them feel loved? Made them feel important? Made them feel alive?
IF you’ve done any of the above...it may make it on to their Twitter feed and that, my friend, is the ultimate endorsement of connection and engagement.
Engaging kids should not be seen as difficult or taxing. Sometimes it’s as simple as complimenting their new hair color (“lovely shade of teal, Jadon”) or handing them a piece of chalk to rewrite their thesis statement on the center quad of campus because it’s THAT AWESOME. However you operate, what would give them that “feeling” inside of belonging and importance? That will be a message they want to spread.
So, if you are not on Twitter, get on and be on the lookout for the gem of a tweet that elevates Chemistry, History, Econ, AP Lit, CAHSEE math, or Home Ec into the twittersphere.
It’s the compliment your students won’t even know they are giving you. #genuinelearning