The Art of Inspiring Students

“Do or do not.  There is no try.” – Yoda


“Much to learn, you still have.” – Yoda



Today marks the first day of school for my English students and me.  Countless teachers are pinching themselves, thinking, “Was summer break just something I dreamed?” and countless students are mourning the loss of their unlimited video game time.  But foremost on a teacher’s mind is the big question in education:  “How will I inspire my students this year?”



In my years of teaching I’ve discovered a simple way to ensure that your students will leave your classroom feeling energized, inspired, and motivated to learn.  I call it The Fun Principle, and here it is:

Your students will only have as much fun as you have.



If material bores you to tears, then I can promise you the students will feel the same way.  On the other hand, if you find a way to teach material that you find interesting and exciting, that energy will catch on!

This year I decorated my English classroom in Star Wars memorabilia.  Do all my students love Star Wars?  No, but it makes me happy – and if I’m having fun I know the students will end up laughing at me and having a good time in spite of themselves.  

This year, cheaters will have to face Lord Vader…

My young Padawans – ahem, I mean students – will learn how powerful education truly is…

And those who claim they tried on a writing assignment that just isn’t very good will have to face the wisdom of Yoda (Do or do not, there is no try).  Yep – they’ll have to write it all over again (I love that little green pal of mine!)

Fellow teachers, let’s make it a great year.  Find ways to have fun while teaching, and your students will begin to enjoy learning!

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