Students have many interests outside of the classroom. Many want to be involved in sports, arts and performance groups to help hone their skills. In order to get clubs off the ground, students with a particular interest usually need to find a teacher sponsor. These sponsors agree to host the club, be a responsible adult for club meetings and support the growth and development of club members.
Some newer students clubs focus on robotics, STEM and even popular video games. As the sponsor of the club, the teacher might be an active participant in the club activities or might simply provide the space to hold meetings and let the students run the club on their own. The degree to which the teacher sponsor participates can affect the relationships they form with students.
Teachers who sponsor yearbook clubs who also get out there, take photos, suggest layouts and seek advertisement dollars model both fun and hard work. Teachers who sponsor clubs focused on role-playing or card games get to engage in social bonding with students when they participate. By sponsoring a club, teachers can create meaningful and lasting memories for students.
Clubs Are a Place Where Students Feel Accepted
Because membership in clubs is optional, students can find a place where they feel at home among those who share their interests. As the sponsoring teacher, you are promoting an open environment where students can be themselves.
Students remember the feeling of acceptance that they have in the club atmosphere and carry that into the classroom. When the students in the club you sponsor are also in your classroom, their connection with you also improves engagement in the classroom.
Clubs Help Students Diversify Their Skills.
While students may be interested in the topic of the club, they may not be experts. For example, robotics is currently a big interest for many student. However, they may not yet know the coding or engineering skills to create successful projects. Membership in a club allows students to build their skills based on interests that are often beyond the focus of academics.
Students who participate in clubs have more opportunities to learn and practice new skills that can serve them now and in the future. When you sponsor a club where students learn new things they can apply to classroom work, you can increase engagement. When students feel confident in the skills they learn after school, they can participate more actively during class.
Clubs Require Students to Grow as Leaders.
Because clubs are small and usually have a narrow focus, all students who participate are required to pull their weight in some way. They must be leaders, share ideas and collaborate with their peers to achieve common goals. Students who are shy in class can shine as leaders during clubs. Their expertise or interest in a topic helps them overcome shyness or their disinterest in academics.
As a club sponsor, you can highlight students’ leadership qualities when working with them in the classroom. You can help students see how their leadership during club activities is equally important in the classroom.
If you are already in the classroom and looking for ways to engage your students, you might benefit from the many degree programs offered by Grand Canyon University’s College of Education. To learn more about, visit our website or click the Request More Information Button at the top of this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.