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The science of making chemistry lessons engaging

04/06/2021

Chemistry is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most fascinating subjects. However, it can be tricky to hold a student’s attention long enough for them to realise this too. The solution lies in the act of “engagement”. Educators are encouraged to use relevance, excitement, and interaction to foster a love of chemistry and why it matters .

According to a study by Gallup , students who are engaged during a lesson are 2.5 times more likely to achieve excellent grades, and they are 4.5 times more likely to be positive about their futures when compared with actively disengaged peers.

What does this mean for you as a chemistry teacher? It means that your teaching career is more than your own point of view. Whether you are a fully qualified educator or a first-year NQT teacher , it is important that you try to see the world the way a student sees it. If you can do this, then you can apply strategies to successfully bridge the gap between the unknown and the fascinating realm of chemistry.

1. Make sure that your own passion for chemistry has been fully ignited

Science teacher jobs can be exceedingly rewarding, especially if you are passionate about the subject. This enthusiasm can be contagious. If your students see how excited you get during a lesson, they’re more likely to be intrigued by what you have to say.

If your light for chemistry has started to fade, perhaps you need to revisit why you chose this as a subject to teach? It could be that you got lost in teaching theory and stopped noticing the wonders of chemistry.

2. Mix theory with interactivity

The theory behind chemistry is usually what students battle to wrap their minds around. So why not make this part fun? Instead of planning one lesson for theory and a separate lesson for physical experiments, combine the two to create a holistic lesson that puts theory and practice in their proper context.

3. Allow your students to take the lead

When you are putting together your next chemistry lesson plan, add activities where your students take the lead in class . This will encourage them to take control of the subject matter and dissect it in a way that fits their learning style.

Here are a few ways to encourage student-lead learning:

  • Present problems to your students and ask them to provide solutions
  • Ask learners to research a chemistry topic and then present it to the class
  • Ask students to take control of an experiment after they have read the theory

4. Make the lesson relatable

Students want to learn about things that have an impact on their daily lives. That means you should always try to create a chemistry lesson that they will find relatable. For younger kids who get their thrills from dramatic explosions, work on an erupting volcano project. For high school students, explore the science of glow sticks and host your own classroom party.

Look for trends to give you some guidance in this regard – or ask your students what they are currently interested in.

5. Ask questions

End each lesson by asking questions. Questions are a valuable part of the learning process and can be used to determine if what you have taught has really sunk into the minds of your students. To stimulate engagement, encourage your students to ask you questions too – this will give you an even deeper insight into their thought processes and if they are on the brink of a eureka moment!

Are you searching for the best chemistry teacher jobs?

Teaching Personnel is the UK’s leading education recruitment agency. Our specialist consultants connect candidates with the best teaching jobs, teaching assistant jobs, and supply teacher jobs across the UK. We will take the time to understand what you are looking for in your next teaching job so that we can match you with the right role at the right school. If you are ready to start the job search, browse our science teacher jobs and get your application started.

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