One of the most difficult aspects of becoming a teacher is learning how to motivate your students. It is also one of the most important. Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively. They won’t retain information, they won’t participate and some of them may even become disruptive. While motivating students can be a difficult task, the rewards are more than worth it. Some students are self-motivated, with a natural love of learning. But even with the students who do not have this natural drive, a great teacher can make learning fun and inspire them to reach their full potential.
So with the new academic year just around the corner, we thought we'd give you some pointers on how to motivate your students for that first lesson they have on their first day back of the new term.
Students look to teachers for approval and positive reinforcement, and are more likely to be enthusiastic about learning if they feel their work is recognized and valued. You should encourage open communication and free thinking with your students to make them feel important. Be enthusiastic. Praise your students often. Recognize them for their contributions.
Setting expectations and making reasonable demands encourages students to participate, but sometimes students need an extra push in the right direction. Offering students small incentives makes learning fun and motivates students to push themselves. Rewards give students a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to work with a goal in mind.
Teach through games and discussions instead of lectures, encourage students to debate and enrich the subject matter with visual aids, like colorful posters, diagrams and videos. You can even show a movie that effectively illustrates a topic or theme. Your physical classroom should never be boring: use posters, models, student projects and seasonal themes to decorate your classroom, and create a warm stimulating environment.
Making Learning Relevant To Real Life
“When will I ever need this?” This question is often heard in the classroom. If a student does not believe that what they’re learning is important, they won’t want to learn, so it’s important to demonstrate how the subject relates to them. If you’re teaching algebra, make it clear to students that algebra can be used when working as an engineer. Really amaze them by telling them that they may use it in their career. Showing them that a subject is used everyday by “real” people gives it new importance. They may never be excited about algebra but if they see how it applies to them, they may be motivated to learn attentively.