Everything is sales including learning.
We rave about our newest – now favorite – restaurant. We’ve got to tell the gals about the best sales in the local downtown shops. Even getting our children to eat their veggies is all about sales.
Well, wouldn’t you know….we can sell our students and our children on wanting to learn, too! They can LOVE learning. They can go the extra mile, really focus, and show up each day ready to work!
“How?” By asking them questions.
Here’s the first question to try:
“Wouldn’t it be great if you ___fill in the blank___?”
“Wouldn’t it be great if you knew the answer each time I called on you?”
“Wouldn’t it be great if you felt confident with your multiplication facts? You would be able to answer faster than everyone.”
“Wouldn’t it be great if you could sound out all the hard words so well that you could help a classmate sound them out, too?
By simply asking, “Wouldn’t it be great if you…..” you paint the picture of what learning can be like for them. They may not have even thought or been able to put into words how knowing the answer, feeling confident again, and knowing something so well that they can help others is what they really wanted or could achieve. By posing the question this way, you seed the thought, “Yes, it would be great if……” Now you can work with them on a plan as to how they can achieve it.
Remember this one thing before we move on to the next question. Asking “Wouldn’t it be great if you…..” and then filling in the blank requires that you fill in the blank with what motivates, excites, and inspires them….not you, or else they will not stay motivated and focused through the challenges. This isn’t about you…it is all about them. What moves them? What keeps them smiling? What do they want strong enough to push through the hard stuff? That’s what you fill in the blank with.
Let’s try another one.
“Have you ever thought that this could be easy for you?”
Sometimes, our students (even us adults at times) are too busy looking at the challenge, the mountain, the obstacle, the difficulty right in front of them that they can’t actually see that this algebra or geometry could become easy. If they are willing to roll up their sleeves, press in, ask questions, make mistakes, and try some more eventually it will become easier. Remind them that no one gets it great out of the gate on the first go.
Encourage them that they “have what it takes to one day be able to say that this is easy.”
Tell them, “I am really excited for you to excel in algebra. You may not see it yet. This variable thing may look like a big mountain right now that you just can’t climb over. But if you are willing to take one step at a time, try one equation at a time, before you know it you’ll be at the top of the mountain. You’ll be able to do algebra well.”
What can they achieve that they don’t even know is possible yet? Paint this picture in their minds eye of what they can achieve. Assure them that you’ll help them get there. It is their responsibility to try, to focus, and to not give up.
What an amazing classroom of young students you have! So full of promise! Teacher, sell them on learning by asking them questions.
Now, I would love to hear from you. Give these questions a try and then let us know how it goes.
Leave a comment below and let me know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. So many amazing educators, moms, dads, and grandparents come here for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.
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If you need help with thinking of questions for a specific student, you are welcome to email me at email@example.com. I am happy to work with you to help your students to love learning again.
With enormous love,