It can be extremely annoying for teachers to teach a basic topic from scratch. Students in colleges and universities often have less or no knowledge about generic subjects, facts, and stats. As a teacher, you must have found yourself in a condition where you give a very generic reference from history or literature, only to look at blank and clueless faces of students.
Who is to blame? Students are not watching news channels or follow other informative resources when they use the internet. Before internet ruled lives, students loved to read. Even those who didn’t like reading, owned books for the sake of information. Although, students have now deviated from the old paths and have adopted unhealthy habits. Technology has taken the students far from traditional methods of learning such as reading. The information available on the internet rarely reaches students as the internet is full of distractions. Students would rather spend hours on social networks instead of doing research and expanding their general knowledge.
Why Reading is Important for Students?
As mentioned earlier, teachers have to start their topics from scratch as general knowledge of students has become limited. Students rarely ever have prior knowledge about a subject. Reading about non-academic subjects is extremely important as it helps students expand their knowledge about generic things. Not only that but reading novels has proven to have a positive impact on the thinking capabilities of students. Reading fiction expands the creative thinking of students and helps them think more creatively in personal life as well as academic life. Teachers also believe that pleasure reading is a habit much better than surfing the internet. It is a healthy way to spend your spare time.
Watching movies in spare time leaves nothing to the imagination. Everything is laid out in front of students and they contribute nothing. Whereas, when students read books their brain starts working instantly to process the information. They create images within their brains and slowly try to put things into perspective. It is an activity that requires participation from students whereas watching movies only makes them lazier.
Here are a few ways teachers can indulge students in pleasure reading;
1- Assign a Weekly/Monthly Book
Most of the students don’t read because they don’t like to read, but because they never had to pick up a book. As a teacher, all you have to do is introduce your students to reading. There are many ways to do it. You can just ask them to read by mentioning a few benefits of reading. Although, students who are so immersed in the world of the internet may not pay heed to a subtle recommendation of their teacher.
Under such a situation what you can do is keep a check on them and follow through their progress. Assign them a book to read within a week or month and keep asking for updates from time to time. Hold discussion sessions in the classroom and require your students to actively participate. This will motivate them to read the book that you recommended.
2- Reading Session Within Classroom
Another thing a teacher can do is conduct reading sessions within the classroom. You can fix one day a week when students will do nothing but quietly do some pleasure reading. You can add the same step of discussion in this method. This is also a great way to release academic pressure from students and to boost class engagement, simultaneously.
3- Add a Novel in Course Material
It is a common practice for literature teachers to add a novel in the course material, however, a teacher of any subject can do this to promote pleasure reading. It is the best way to increase reading habits among students as they will pay more attention to small details of the novel and be enthusiastic about it as well. It is not important that you have to add a novel if you are a science teacher, you can add books such as ‘Brief answers to the big questions’ by Stephen Hawking. Such books are non-academic, yet fruitful at the same time and will certainly grasp the interest of your students.
4- Recommend E-Books
It is the modern age of students and they like to do things in a modern way. The main purpose of reading is to expand knowledge and creativity and this purpose can be achieved with the help of technology as well. Many students don’t read because they don’t want to spend money on paperbacks which is fine. The point is to read, whether it is from a tech device or paperback. You can find out e-Books on the internet and recommend those to your students. You will be surprised to find out how willing students are to read when resources are available so easily.
5- Recommend Easily Available Books
Another thing that you may want to keep in your head while recommending books is that students are not going to spend hours to find a book that their teacher recommended. Many students give up on reading because they cannot find a book at common book stores. Make sure that you recommend a book that is easily available at stores so that students don’t get frustrated before they even get their hands on the book.