After having the privilege being able to speak to boys and girls at elementary schools I realized something. After every speech I would have young kids come up to me and ask me for my autograph. I thought this was so sweet because you see these kids in the crowd and you don’t think they are listening but they do.
I have thing little saying where I say, I know the answer, I know the answer. And I do a little dance and the kids just laugh because it’s funny. Well that is what they remember after I speak because it’s catchy. I learned that humor can be used to motivate young kids because they enjoy being entertained. To be honest, I enjoy entertaining kids. I like seeing them smile and walk away from an assembly feeling good about me and about them.
Another part of what I do is use culture to relate to students. I’m Hispanic and so I know that I can use Mexican food to relate to the kids. You should see their faces when I mention beef fajitas or chorizo con juevo which is Mexican sausage, they get so excited. On some occasions I actually cook raw fajita meat on a George Foreman grill. When I do you hear whispers from the boys and girls in the audience because they get happy that I am cooking while talking.
What I’ve learned is if you take the time to listen to kids and encourage them to do their best in school, they listen. If they smile after you talk to them you are getting through, that is a sign that they enjoyed what you had to say to them. They also like for you to be real with them and they love rules. Sometimes I start by asking permission to give them cool information and kids always obey when you ask them nicely.