Episode 3: Student Buy-in

Jan 11, 2022

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EPISODE 3: Student Buy-in!

0:00  Intro!
I don't know about you, but one of the hardest things that I deal with on a day by day, week by week basis is getting student buy-in. Sometimes I'll hear about this awesome new activity to for reading or a great new brain break or something like that. I'll learn it from a conference and then I'll come back and I'll be so excited to introduce it to my students and I'm met with like apathetic eye rolls and low engagement. And so over the years, I've learned that the key to everything is buy-in, right? How do we get student buy in? How do we invest students in what we are trying to sell them. And I hate to think of it as us trying to sell them on something. But the reality is, I am teaching at a time when student's attention is constantly being pulled in many different directions, and if I want to stay ahead of all those things, I have to get their buy in. I have to get their buy in, in order to maintain their engagement. Welcome to episode three of Teaching la Vida Loca.

Podcast intro!
Welcome to Teaching la Vida Loca, a podcast for world language teachers seeking inspiration, unapologetic authenticity, and guidance in centering and joy, and facilitating language acquisition for the people who matter the most, our students! I am your host, La Maestra Loca. My name is Annabelle, I'm a teacher, just like you and inspiring educators is what I do. Thanks for joining!

Tip #1 for Buy-in!- VIDEOS of "cool" people
The first tip or trick that I want to share with you today, related to engagement or student buy in is actually my number one favorite and I think it's the most effective. If I had to pick one strategy. However, it can be the most challenging because it does require a little bit of searching a little bit of research. And hopefully I can help you with that today. As much as I want to believe that I am the coolest teacher on the planet, and somebody that all of my students clearly want to be, because I am me, I have to face facts.  I don't think there's a single student that I teach that really thinks I am that cool. I'm really not, I'm really pretty uncool, and pretty embarrassing, and just kind of crazy. And that's what I'm known for. And that's okay. But the reality is if I'm introducing something new to my students, and I'm really excited about it and jazzed about it, they may not be, just from the mere fact that oh, Maestra, it's something that you think is cool. It's definitely not that cool. So my number one tip or strategy is to show videos of other people, specifically, anyone that will be perceived as cooler than myself, doing the brain break or doing the activity as a model. So before the students try it before they do it for the first time before you even model it in class together. They are watching other people do it first. This is where why I said it can get a little complicated because you're not always going to find cool influencers doing an acquisition based activity, right?! But you can find lots of videos out there of other students and other classrooms doing these activities. For me, because I'm a middle school teacher, I can get major buy in if I can show videos of high school students doing activities that I'm introducing to my students. So I really like to follow people on Instagram or on YouTube, who I know are going to be sharing videos of activities, doing it with their students that I can then use as a model. In fact, I reached out to Bertha Delgadillo the other week because I have a strategy that I love to use with music! And my old eighth graders loved to do this! And I had high school students who loved to do this, but my current eighth graders are like super apathetic and, nothing is cool. So I actually reached out to her because I said, I know you have great rapport with your high school students right now and they love doing music. Could you please do this activity with your students? And then I can be like, Oh, I totally just learned this from this teacher and her high school students. Let's watch them do it and then we can do it. But I'm telling you, there is nothing quite like getting buy in from your kids just simply from them watching other people do something. Now I do think it is key that the students either have to look like them or be perceived as somewhat cool. In order for them to buy in. I've been getting a lot of my favorite Brain Breaks lately from different Tik Tok and Instagram influencers. All I have to do then is show the video of the influencers doing the activity doing the brain break. And then I say okay, Clase who wants to model it, and I have immediate engagement and buy in because it's not my a straw saying, hey, Clase, this is super cool. Let's try it and me just modeling it with them. It's me saying, Hey, I learned this from this person on Tik Tok. I already have a little bit of buy in, because I'm talking about something that for them is capital they care about tick tock they care about social media, that is an investment in their social world. So for me to say, Hey, I found this video, show them the video and then boom, we do it all together. There's huge buy in just from that. On that note, I was thinking it might be a good time for a BRAIN BREAKKKK!.

6:14  Brain Break!
Okay, so this is one I actually did just blog about the other day, I guess it was a week and a half ago. But I've had such wild success with it. And every teacher that has tried it that has read the blog has raved about it. So I wanted to make sure and share it with you in case you haven't had the opportunity to try it yet. I call it don't flinch. And the whole point of the game is to not flinch if something is fake thrown towards you, or tossed towards you. So I learned this brain break from Paul actually my husband esposo loco, he was scrolling his Instagram one night, and he came across a real by the seven deadly cheeses. And he said, Oh my gosh, this would make such a good brain break for your classes. I will make sure and share the reel in the show notes if you'd would like to use the original reel with your own classes. But I went to school the next day and I pulled up the reel in class and I said class a look at this new brain break Paul found. And I let the reel teach the brain break. And then boom, we got up we formed our circles and we tried it for ourselves. So let me explain this and break it down to you the way it works. It's also great for COVID times because it's social distancing, is you form at least two circles. In the video that they shared the seven deadly cheese's, they don't have two circles. The reason I have two circles at least is because I don't like anyone to ever have to sit down during a brain break. I like kids to always be standing up and moving right? So I formed two circles. That way, if somebody gets out, they just join the other circle, they just go into the other circle. So there's constant movement, if that makes sense. So you form two circles or three circles and your biggest classes of like 30 Kids, you'll want to form three circles. And one person in that circle gets an object whether that's a ball, a stuffed animal, just an object to toss. Let's say John gets the object in circle one, John tosses this object to Taj, Taj catches it. Now Taj decides to instead of tossing it he wants to fake throw it to a Asaseyaa. He fakes throws it to Asaseyaa but if Asaseyaa goes to catch it, or twitches or flinches in any way, as if to catch it, she's automatically out and she's now walking to the other circle to join the other circle. Taj is then going to pass it to Laura. Laura passes it to Frank, Frank passes it to Journee. Journee now decides she's going to fake throw it on to Skye. If Skye flinches, then Skye has to go to the next circle. If Skye doesn't flinch, then Skye stays in the circle and Journee is gonna pass it now to whoever she wants to, or she can make somebody flinch again, or try and make somebody flinch. The only time that somebody can get out other than this is if, let's say Journee tosses the ball to Skye and Skye doesn't catch it because she's focused so hard on not flinching. She would also be out and join the other circle. Again in the original video, when you're out you're out, but for me as a middle school teacher, especially y'all in high school, you know that kids are looking for a reason to sit back down they don't always want to do the brain breaks. So this one I had to find a way around the out and that's why I came up with multiple circles. Since sharing this one, I have since seen a new version also shared by the seven deadly cheese's where they did it with a ball so if you have  a ball and their feet. So if you have any soccer players, I think this could be a really cool one. It was like they were juggling the ball and passing the ball with their feet. And then every now and then they would fake pass it and see if the person's foot would flinch or their leg would flinch or their body and it's really really good I know your students are gonna love this one. In the show notes I'll share the original as well as a reel of my students playing it or a YouTube video if you'd rather that, and I can't wait to hear what your students think make sure to tag me on social media if you share any videos or pictures, I would love to see or hear the results of it. You can find me at La Maestra Loca  on all the platforms.

10:37 People to follow! 
I mentioned that I have certain people that I like to follow on Instagram or on YouTube or search them up on Facebook for videos of high schoolers, and I'll share a few of their names and also link to their accounts as well in the show notes, but one of my favorites is Nelann Taylor. Nelann was a victim like my family of hurricane Ida and I know her school had serious damage and took actually a couple months I believe to recover. So she is back to posting videos of her students participating in different activities and different brain breaks. But she is very prolific poster on Instagram. And she does have a blog as well. So that's Nelann Taylor. I'll link to her. Fadi Abughoush is also wonderful. He's an Arabic teacher in Chicago. And he has frequently shared videos of his high school students doing brain breaks that they've learned either from my blog or elsewhere. And I love seeing his big juniors and seniors in high school, going all out in some of these more active brain breaks. They're fantastic to show students, especially the big football players, I just can't even it's so great! And another is Bertha Delgadillo,  I mentioned her earlier in this podcast, Bertha that has a wealth of information she is constantly sharing in her email newsletters on Instagram. And I love when she posts videos of her students because I can often use those to introduce things to my own. And it's really just wonderful because they are cool looking high schoolers that my middle schoolers certainly think are much cooler than me so that her videos are wonderful for buy in. I'll link to her as well in the show notes.

12:25  Tip #2 for Buy-In! Connect with the Keepers of the Culture!
Tip number two, when it comes to student buy in and engagement is to get your keepers of the culture invested and interested in what you're doing. So this is really important for just building relationships and classroom community as well, right? If we can build a relationship and connection with the keepers of the culture in our room,  automatically it is so much easier to gain the interest and engagement of everybody else in the room once we have their investment and engagement, right.?! But all of that comes down to building a good relationship with them. One step towards that could be reaching out to them before class, finding them either in the hall or on a lunch break or whatever and saying, Hey, I wanted to introduce this new activity I found online, and I was wondering if you would model it with me first, I can teach it to you right now, and then we can do it together in class. When students see a keeper of the culture, a person who is particularly popular or well liked or well known in that class, modeling something with you at the beginning of class or modeling something with you, as a demo, they are far more likely to invest, engage and participate, if they see that, than if you were to just model it by yourself, or if you were to call on perhaps a teacher's pet who always is willing to model things with you. At the start of class, there's far more potential for engagement and buy in if you invest the time in seeking out the keeper of the culture, to model it with you first. And again, this isn't something you always have to do. But if you have a class that really struggles with buy in and engagement and you can't find a video online of something, it can really be time well spent to invest some time in seeking out that keeper of the culture, building that relationship with them, building that trust with them and asking for their help and modeling something. If you have a video that you could show them beforehand, that'd be cool too. Even if it's a video of something you saw at a conference and it's adults modeling something or teachers modeling something that then you're showing them in order for them to learn it before class to be able to model with you. It's a good opportunity for a little one on one time with them. And then hopefully you'll get the buy in and engagement from the rest of the class.

14:48  Tip #3 for Buy-in! The White Lie
Tip number three is one that if you have followed me for a while, you are very familiar with and that is the white lie is quite powerful.  So if my students know that I am getting lots of ideas from social media or from tic tok videos or whatever it is, then every now and then something that I came up with on my own, or maybe a brain break that I read off of a blog, if I didn't actually get it off of Tiktok, it doesn't hurt anybody for me to say, Oh, y'all, I saw this great video on Tiktok last night of this new activity, I want to try it with you. You want to try and then boom, launch into it. Now, if students say, Do you have the video from Tiktok, so we could see the Tiktok version? I might say, NO :( it was one of those ones where, you know, I was scrolling through I saw it and then I forgot to save it. And now I can't find it again, because I can't remember the name of the Creator or that account, so sometimes having to backpedal a little bit. But I have found that rather than me just coming cold turkey, like, Hey, y'all guess what I created this really cool, new fun brain break, it could be better for me to say, Oh, I saw this thing on YouTube the other night. And sometimes I get more buy in than just me trying to do it by myself.

16:12  Tip #4 for Student Buy-in- Teacher Authenticity
My last tip, and trick isn't really a trick at all. It's modereling vulnerability, like right there, that was a hot mess, express, I'm not going to edit that out, I'm going to be authentic with you. Modeling vulnerability, taking risks, and being silly, letting your guard down, and really investing and putting your whole self into the activity with your students. Whether it's a brain break, I always tell people, it's so important that you are doing the brain break with your students, really showing them that, hey, I'm all in with you. Investing that time in, showing them your vulnerability, showing them you're all in with them, is really important. And I know that I said at the beginning, we are not cool. And we're not. But on our path.... I'm sorry, no rewind...... We are cool. We are the coolest, we are teachers, we do the hardest job on the planet. So we are as cool as cool gets!!!!! They just don't realize it yet. However, because they don't realize it. I'm saying that what we can do is make sure that we are being authentic and true to ourselves every single day and every single class. And if we find a really cool activity, or a really cool brain break, or something that we thought was wildly engaging in a conference, and it's a new strategy that we want to try coming as our authentic selves and saying, Hey, I learned this this weekend. I really want to try it with you! Then, really throwing your whole self into it authentically you is so important! And it's really important in general that we're constantly modeling that for our kids. What authenticity looks like, what it means to be shamelessly you no matter what. And I really do think that that is an important piece of buy-in, it may not be the most important piece again, because they don't realize how cool we are yet.... But it is really, really important.

18:22  Wrap up!

And that's all I have for you today. Thank you so much for joining me on this third episode of Teaching La Vida Loca. I hope that you have some great takeaways! I would love to hear about your greatest takeaway or the tip or trick that you're going to use for student buy in the next time that you want to introduce a new activity or brain break to your students. You can share with me on social media, you can shoot me an email at [email protected] whatever way is easiest and best for you. Take care, teacher, and I'll talk to you next time. Until then I'll be teaching la vida loca and I'm sure you will be too!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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