The best tip for keeping students engaged

By: Eric Hale, Brunson Elementary and El Buen Pastor

From when I began my service with ArtistCorps to now, I have noticed many different things. In the beginning, it seemed as though some students enjoyed misbehaving or not participating, but as I have been around them more, I have found that they simply need to be kept engaged. 

For a lot of the students at Brunson Elementary, one on one interaction (eye contact, repeating what the leading AristCorps member said at the time) is really helping to keep them focused, engaged, and from misbehaving. The ELA kindergarten class at Brunson can understand and speak English so much better than when we started, which is very encouraging.

Having teachers that help out also makes it much easier to teach the lesson and keep the children behaved. El Buen Pastor is a very different environment, however. The community in that area (as told to me by someone living there who is also Latino) is aggressive and loud. I have finally realized that I need to get their attention by almost yelling (not in a mean or rude way), and it is working. 

The end of semester party is this coming Thursday, where each grade will perform a song with their homemade drums (which we have rehearsed for a few weeks), and I really hope they enjoy performing for their peers and families.

February 18, 2016