A Conversation About Student Engagement with Dave Beal
SFS’s Dr. Dianna Whitlock speaks with Dave Beal, Executive Director of Brain Power Wellness, about maximizing teaching time through student engagement. Sometimes teachers have difficulty maximizing teaching time due to unrest and distraction among their students. Brain Power Wellness encourages taking 1-2 minute “Brain Breaks” to give students a reset, allowing teachers to present information to an engaged classroom.
Interestingly enough, Beal says they initially get resistance from teachers when first introducing these Brain Breaks because they are worried about the lack of time available. In response, Beal asks teachers, “Are you stressed about time or productivity?” It is generally a productivity and efficiency issue as student engagement drops over time.
In taking these short Brain Breaks, Beal has seen the effect that it has on students: they feel they have more agency in their own learning experience and they gain more focus and energy to give to the lesson. Beal lived this in his own classroom teaching experience; his teaching changed from asking students, as the teacher, to pay attention, to the mindset of “We’re in this together.” Of the difference having a toolset of various exercises and activities to engage the students makes, he says, “It’s a totally different paradigm in the classroom when the kids take ownership of the learning and they genuinely want to be there.”
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