by Brian Kelly
Here at Five Keys, we’re working with students who, for the most part, are not in school because someone else is making them attend. Each and every time our students walk through our classroom doors, we generally know that they’ve made the choice to come to school that day. So what do we do as instructors that lead our students to continue thinking and saying, “I’m going to class today.”? What can we do to encourage students to persist even when challenges arise (i.e. a tight schedule, family needs, frustration)? Here are some tips for retaining students and helping them build momentum towards their ultimate goal at Five Keys:
1. Acknowledge students
Let them know that you see the great choices that they’re making and the work they’re producing.
2. show their progress
Help them see their incremental progress and acknowledge themselves on a regular basis.
3. build rapport and relationship
Ask about their interests. Learn their kids’ names. Know what their plan is after they graduate from Five Keys.
4. communicate with them regularly
Cultivate the connection with each student individually and as a whole class via Remind.com, Google Voice, and other means of communication.
5. share an inspirational/motivational quote
Write it on your whiteboard or send it via text at the beginning of the week. Ask students’ what it means to them. Here’s one of my faves: “Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results.”
6. host a workshop around growth and professional development
Possible topics included having a positive mindset, knowing your ‘why,’ and goal setting/achieving.
7. handle our own RESPONSIBILITIES
My personal experience has shown me that staying up-to-date with my daily tasks (such as grading) gives me more energy and time to serve my current students and be ready for new students to enroll.
I’d like to acknowledge each of us for the things we’re already doing to have great rates of retention and attendance. And just as we challenge our students to grow, I know that we strive to get to the next level as professionals. It’s part of the Five Keys culture. With that in mind, what idea from this list or one of your own do you want to implement to keep students wanting to come to class?
Choose one and give it a go!