Wrestling and Engaging Students in the Classroom

My sons wrestle at the Central Pa Stars Wrestling Club I’m Carlisle.  Last week was the first of two summer camps and my son Josh attended. There were about 70 kids who attended the camp. Here is a photo:

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Now I know what you are thinking.  Why is he talking about wrestling on an educational technology blog?  Well, I’m going to tell you. See these boys, between age 8 and 17, started on Sunday at 3pm and wrestled for 5 hours.  They then went from 8am till 8pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday’s session was 8 – 4:30.  This is during the summer and it was between 80-90 degrees outside all week!  It was even hotter in the room.

Again,  what does this have to do with education you ask?  I say everything.  The photo above was taken at 7:30pm on Wednesday of the clinic. Each and every wrestler in that room was listening quietly and intently to the coach.  They were standing up to get a better view or asking clarifying questions.  And when the coach said to go practice it, they stood up, clapped once in unison, jogged back to their spot and began working.  They were ENGAGED in the lesson.

How does this relate to a classroom? We need to find what motivates our students. What are they passionate about? Tap into that energy and passion.  They don’t all have to be wrestlers.  They can be singers, writers or football players.  They can even be a video gamer. FIND their passions and use it to engage them in each and every lesson.  

It does not have to be with technology either.  You can engage students in a history lesson by having them create a Viking ship out of styrofoam and duct tape.  Have them create an igloo out of gallon milk jugs, or create their own classroom.  Anything is possible when we get kids engaged in learning.

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