The education sector is one of the most important facets of a country. More students enroll into schools, and more schools are built each year. The challenge remains the same, however. How to engage students’ attention and increase classroom productivity.
I have been blessed to have been given an excellent education from my parents. I went to one of the topnotch schools in my country that offers the best academic curricula. But, one thing I always struggled with the most is productivity.
Students and teachers may experience low productivity in their education and career. For students, low productivity could be caused by a myriad of factors. For teachers, it could simply be their method or pedagogy.
Let’s go over the definition of productivity, and the common factors influencing it in classrooms, before letting you on the five ways to increase productivity in schools.
What is Productivity in Education
Productivity in education pertains to maximized and quality learning. In a high-productive classroom, students know what they need to do and how to go about the task at hand. In productive classrooms, the communication between students and teachers are clear from the beginning.
When classrooms are productive, students don’t have to wait around for instructions. Teachers ensure they provide enough learning activities for the students. The teachers also develop lesson plans to make sure the classrooms are full of life.
Ultimately, high classroom productivity in most cases depends on the teacher, rather than on the students. It’s more about how the teachers dictate student productivity and performance.
Reasons For Low Classroom Productivity
Low productivity can be linked to a lack of materials. Due to this, students are not able to carry out hands-on activities, or wait around unnecessarily for materials.
Another reason for low-productive classrooms is the extra burden of the teacher’s administrative tasks. These could be checking the test papers, creating visual aids, evaluating work, and more.
Meanwhile, there are other reasons why students could under-perform in school. Some of them are:
- Bully And Abuse
- Emotional Issues
- Medical Problems
- Learning Disability
- Psychiatric Disorders
- Environmental Factors
- Below Average Intelligence
- Socio-Cultural Environment
- Technology or The Lack of It
- Student Attitude And Behaviors
- ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
How To Measure Classroom Productivity
In a nutshell, the term classroom productivity means the quality or quantity of output per number of inputs used. It’s quite hard to measure productivity in education.
The best way to measure a student’s performance or productivity is a student’s success. Some examples of success are degrees, employment, high wages, character, or academic achievement. That said, it’s vital to keep students interested to increase their productivity.
Also, teachers can gauge a student’s interest by checking these following signs:
- If students are listening with attention
- When they take part in class activities
- When they engage with other students
- If students are curious and ask questions
- If they are naturally happy sitting through the class
- If they create healthy competition within the classroom
- If they share their performance with friends and parents
- If they are focused on the assignments, activities, lessons, tests
But why is high classroom productivity the end-all and be-all in education?
Because education is one of the initial parenting plans that parents don’t take lightly. They aspire their children to be in the best of the schools, listening to the best of the educators. Classrooms are expected, rightly, to cultivate an environment that shapes the students’ personality, character, and future.
Because poor school performance can be a vital reason for children’s low self-esteem. And, low self-esteem can lead to mental and physical health issues.
In turn, students are expected to perform their best and bring back medals and awards. If not, then the under-performing students often become a reason to add up to parental stress.
5 Ways To Increase Classroom Productivity
In hindsight, my productivity caused some poor performances during my freshman year. It wasn’t something internal though. I realized external factors may have caused it, including family issues.
With these in mind, educators might not have full control over some situations. Nevertheless, these five tips might help in a huge way to raise your classroom productivity.
1. Maximize Learning Time
One reason for low classroom productivity is when there is too much leeway. By leeway, I mean the idle period between lessons and classroom activities. This could be due to the lack of preparation from the teacher.
Planning school tasks should be done days before. This will allow you to prepare the necessary materials needed. Likewise, it’s also crucial to set clear instructions so you and the students will see eye to eye.
Writing a lesson plan from scratch doesn’t have to be daunting. If writing is too colossal of a task, hiring help services could be a good bet.
Also, make instructions easier to digest. This will prevent any misunderstanding and decrease any unfavorable outcomes from the activity.
Lastly, establish routines in the classroom to maximize students’ learning time. That said, be precise with the time as well. You can do this by avoiding talking about unrelated topics.
Additionally, try not to do your managerial tasks while in class. If you really have to do it, ensure that you’re doing it while the students are on a group activity.
2. Boost Student Collaboration
Group activities can motivate those students who don’t like speaking in large classes. Dividing them into small groups can encourage team independence. It will also allow the students to express their ideas and opinions, or share their knowledge.
Letting students work in groups can also create healthy competition between other groups. This will encourage the students to develop better ideas and outperform other teams.
Here are a few ways you can make group collaboration fun:
- Create challenging activities. Make the group-work need group-effort. More often than not, easy tasks will only allow those high achievers to work on it alone. But, challenging activities will encourage others’ insights.
- Keep groups to five students. Keeping groups smaller will discourage students to let others do all the work. You may also ask them to assign roles to the members in a group, so everyone knows what to bring to the table.
- Encourage debates within groups. Debates are excellent for stirring student knowledge. But make sure you set rules on debate structure. Push team members to communicate, disagree, and even step up to decision-making processes. Check out these tips to conduct a class debate.
- Provide timely guidance. Challenging activities can put pressure on the students. It’s your role as an educator to be always ready to help whenever they need it. Provide timely guidance, but remind yourself to not spoon-feed.
3. Establish The Need To Participate
Letting students take part can also allow them to get their ideas across. To some, this could be a walk in the park. Yet, students who fear public speaking could see this as an intimidating method.
They say that the environment influences how a student performs. That said, make sure you arrange the classroom in a way that encourages participation. Next is to establish that participation is one of the bases for student grades.
Lastly, make sure that you value everyone’s responses. Memorizing student names will allow you to engage with each one of them.
Although there are those who regularly volunteer for answers, don’t disregard them. Let them know you appreciate them but would like to hear others speak.
4. Encourage More Downtime
A 2016 study says elementary students focus more on 10-minute than 30-minute lessons. The study found young students often struggle to stay focused for long periods. However, shorter lessons of around ten minutes each, kept student attention high.
Research shows when we take breaks, our brains work hard to make sense of our experiences by processing and consolidating the memories.Breaks keep the brain working more effectively. While on breaks, our brains process the experiences and consolidate the memories. Click To Tweet
Letting students take more classroom breaks contributes to higher levels of classroom productivity. Taking breaks can also reduce stress in the classroom and boost brain functionality.
But, breaks don’t have to be a period where students do absolutely nothing. They could be asked to take a few stretching exercises or play short games to enhance their mood.
5. Create A Classroom Mission Statement
A classroom mission statement is important to make learning a team effort. But, it’s important to create a classroom mission statement with your students.
First, create a classroom motto. A classroom motto can guide students daily. Next is to complete the classroom statement.
Ask your students what they want to achieve out of school. It can be related to academics such as getting higher grades and awards. It can also be related to behavior such as being a good person by helping others.
Once you have your classroom mission statement, create an emblem. And display this emblem where it’s visible to everyone.
This will keep reminding them teamwork plays a major role in the classroom and in life. And where there’s teamwork, there’s productivity.
It’s important to put classroom productivity on a high priority in school curriculum. This is a crucial step in a student’s success, as a successful studentship leads to a successful career.
A productive student also increases their chance of a stable mental health. Plus, more productivity in the classroom contributes to excellent physical health.
As educators, seeing your students having excellent careers is a much desired life goal. It gauges how good of a teacher you are, especially when students appreciate you even many years later.
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Author Bio: Leanne Brooks is an avid blogger who loves to write about creative writing skills. She is currently works with LivePaperHelp which offers online help for coursework, research, thesis, dissertation.
Editor Bio: Sandip Roy is psychology writer, happiness researcher, and medical doctor. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related topics.
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