Understanding children are probably the most important part about being a teacher, however, it is also a part that many educators forget. Each induvial child is very different and not everyone is going to understand a subject equally. It is also very important for a teacher to understand that children are actually very smart, regardless of how well they perform in class and often, students do want to learn about different things. The biggest problem that many students and teachers face is relevance. Children tend to relate better to subjects when they are based on real life and tend to not be interested in things if there is no sense of realism to a subject.
According to a video by Learning for the 21st Century (2012), they talk about how children find learning much more meaningful when it is not only related to real life experiences but also when the child can interact with a problem. As educators, it is important to understand children and how it is also important that there is nothing wrong with a child inquiring as to why something is relevant. Like adults, children find that when information is presented to them in a way they can not only understand but relate back to something in their own lives, this allows the information to sink in and often be more interesting.
There are many different ways in which a teacher would be successful in relating an educational topic to a real life scenario. Some of these topics may include:
- Asking the children if the topic relates to something in their life
- Relating topics such as mathematics to things like money
- Using things such as video games and television as examples
- Asking the students how key events in history may impact the modern day
- Allowing the students to make examples of how cultures are different to their own
Of course, when it comes to the actual classroom and being a teacher, there would be endless amounts of ways in which a teacher can relate a topic to something in real life. Sometimes, however, teachers need to understand that relating a topic is not always about relating things to real life, but instead relating things that the children/teens find enjoyable.
Teachers can try and plan their lessons appropriately by trying to think of situations that subject could be relatable to for the class at hand. Krahenbuhl (2016) mentions how things such as instructions, policies and all items of education should be designed based on how they are going to effect the students. This statement is very important because choosing an applicably relevant subject may be tricky since not all students may find the relatable subject entertaining, some students may not relate to that subject at all and some student may even be offended by it. Even though it is insane to be able to relate education to real life things, it is still important for a teacher to understand how the real life subjects will affect different children.
Teachers must understand that even though many students do genuinely want a good education, some students find school boring and therefore can’t relate to the topics given. It is important for teachers to try and make education as fun and relatable as possible to give all children a chance at a good education. Some students most definitely do enjoy working off of a text book and processing information, but some students need more of a reason to learn and as teachers, we must give them the reason.