As an educator, you play a pivotal role in shaping your students’ worldview and inspiring them to engage with the lesson material. You cannot always guarantee that each student will feel as passionate about the subject matter as you do, but you can do your best to instill wonder in your students through your teaching methods.
Incorporate STEM Challenges
You can lecture on lesson material all day, but it may not leave a lasting impression on your students until they are able to actively work through a scientific problem or discover the wonder of science for themselves. Many students might not care about the lesson until they are able to figure out how it affects them or they are able to complete hands-on activities. The fact of the matter is that these STEM activities often play a large role in increasing your students’ curiosity and fascination with the world around them. If you make this an active part of your classroom, you may even find that students will brainstorm new STEM activities to introduce to the classroom.
This same method can be applied to other classrooms and subjects. Although interactive activities might look different in a History or Spanish class than they do in a Science class, educators can still incorporate challenges and activities into their lessons to instill wonder in their students.
Take Students’ Questions a Bit Further
Throughout your lessons, your students might ask specific questions that cannot be answered in their entirety within a two-minute window. However, these questions are a great sign that your students are passionate about your subject and show a desire to learn more. Even though it can be challenging to mix up your lesson material as a teacher, one way to instill wonder in your students is to dedicate time to exploring their fascinations. For example, if a student brings up a question regarding the Roaring ’20s, you can later dedicate an entire class period to exploring the Roaring ‘20s further and creating an interactive learning experience.
This is not always doable on tight schedules, but if you allocate days throughout the school year to do so, you’ll find it much more attainable. You can collect questions at the beginning of the school year or keep track of questions throughout the school year and dedicate a day every other week or even every month to explore them further. This will create a more interactive learning experience and let your students know that their curiosities are worth exploring further.