What lessons about the importance of student engagement did you learn early in your teaching career? What have you changed about the way you share knowledge with your students as a result? Please share your thoughts and teaching ideas with us in the comments section below.

We’ve posted often about how important student engagement is to the learning process. Learning to engage students doesn’t come without some trial and error, however. Knowing all there is to know about a particular subject doesn’t necessarily mean that one will be equipped to confer that knowledge upon a group of learners. In this video, Cengage Learning author Jean Phillips discusses what it means to be a “fire starter,” rather than a “fire hose,” when teaching. She talks about the importance of capturing students’ attention and sparking their interest in learning instead of trying to cover a large amount of material during a short lecture period that’s stretched to contain it. It’s a lesson she freely admits learning the hard way in her early teaching years.