Student Audience

Have you ever related to a song so much that you felt the artist wrote it specifically for you? Spotify generates daily mixes and personal playlists according to the types of songs you listen to. What about those songs makes you want to play them 24/7? When a songwriter writes lyrics, they must keep in mind the interests of their targeted audience. Considering social issues can also make a song more relevant to listeners. Similarly, when an artist performs on stage, they must consider what actions, lyrics, and visual effects keep the audience engaged. History teachers are somewhat artists themselves. Great singers/songwriters are not in the business for personal glory but for the world and potential listeners. Likewise, great teachers are not in the occupation for their own self-interest (and definitely not the money); they put all their time and effort into the job for their students. 

An ideal classroom will be one of great diversity. We may have students who are gifted/talented, students with special needs and learning disabilities, at-risk students, and those who speak other languages and are from different cultures and backgrounds. Each of our lessons must prove relevant to every type of student. For some, it may require extra attention, increased feedback and support, more straightforward methods of communicating information, and/or challenging activities that provoke imagination. 

It is also important to remember that high-school students have more going on than school, including physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that come with age. Therefore, we must create a classroom environment that does not belittle them because of circumstances typically beyond their control but encourages them to participate. An effective classroom must foster personal growth alongside the expansion of historical knowledge. Encourage imagination and discussion, incorporating social issues relevant to students and the lesson’s topic. Initiate conversation and critical thinking, especially considering different cultures, that supports the development of their identity and place in society. 

We are more than just educators; we are artists trained to craft lessons and activities to promote student success inside and outside the classroom. Students see teachers sometimes more often than their own parents. Therefore, we also must promote positive relationships and environments and check in on our students’ emotional and mental well-being. When we prioritize our students above grades and worksheets, learning becomes easier (and much more fun)!