One of the most difficult aspects of a teacher’s job is to motivate students. It is also one of the most important ones since students who are not motivated enough will not study effectively. They will not remember information or refuse to participate in class activities, and some of them may even become disorganized.
Even the best classes, books, and materials in the world will not make students want to learn and work hard if they are not motivated. Motivation, both internal and external, is a key factor in the success of students at all stages of education, and teachers can play a key role in fostering the motivation of their students. Of course, this is easier said than done, because all students are motivated differently, and it takes a lot of time and efforts to get a full class of students keen on learning, working and striving for excellence. Even experienced teachers sometimes struggle to come up with ways to motivate students.
STUDENTS CAN BE UNMOTIVATED FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS:
- They may feel that they have no interest in the subject;
- They may find the teacher’s methods unattractive;
- They may be distracted by external factors.
It may even turn out that a student who seemed unmotivated really has learning difficulties and needs some special learning motivation. While motivating students is a difficult task, the reward is worth it. A motivated student is obsessed with learning and strives to be a participant in the process. Simply put: teaching a motivation class full of motivated students is appealing both for the teacher and students. Certainly, some students are self-motivated and have a natural love for learning but even for students who do not have this natural aspiration, a good teacher can make learning fun and empower them to achieve their full potential.
TYPES OF MOTIVATION
Psychologists identify a whole group of motives that can change the attitude of students toward their academic performance in one direction or another. The following types of motivation are distinguished:
Cognitive. That is a desire to learn something fundamentally new;
Pragmatic. The desire to have a high salary or work for a prestigious firm;
Social. It involves having obligations to parents, responsibility for your future, the desire to establish yourself in a society, having received a high social status;
Communicative. The desire to expand the circle of your acquaintances;
Professional. The desire to gain some profound knowledge in the sphere you are already familiar with.
The list can go on but these types of motivation can be considered the most significant for students when coming up with motivational strategies. And yet you need to understand that the student will really want to learn if you ensure that all the tasks assigned to them in the learning process are not only understandable but also have some significance and value.
WAYS TO EDUCATE A MOTIVATED STUDENT
Set your own example. A good teacher is the one who is not late, has a benevolent attitude, takes their work seriously and responsibly, and checks students’ papers on time. It is important to keep in mind that the student’s interest in the discipline is determined not only by the professionalism of the teacher but also by personal qualities.
Keep your promises. You cannot deceive students. If you promised to show a movie, arrange an interesting test, assign an essay on motivation or go on an excursion, you must do it.
Create a positive attitude toward the profession. The leading activity of adolescents is choosing their future occupation, so it is necessary to encourage students by focusing on important professional competencies and specific issues.
Friendly, calm tone, creating a positive microclimate in class. A positive, affable attitude, an even benevolent tone are the guarantee for good student performance.
Grant maximum freedom for students. Of course, here freedom is understood in a specific sense. Give the class the opportunity to choose the current assessment method, the form of performing individual independent work, the topic of the report and much more. Each person wants to be involved in a process. If they realize that their point of view is taken into account, they will be more motivated.
Celebrate the successes of students and praise them publicly. Praise, especially a public one, with a description of the merits and distinctive features of the work performed adds to the student’s self-confidence, increases their inner motivation and desire to achieve a similar result again.
Sparkle interest. The teacher’s interest in students can be mutual. Discussion of any issues, a joint solution of emerging problems, and organization of discussions and consideration of tasks are important methods not only for organizing the educational process but also for establishing quality communication between the teacher and the student.
Offer help. It is very important for the student that has a motivate me to study attitude to have a teacher as their mentor so that they could be turned to for help when needed.
Respect students. No matter what the student is like, they are, in any case, a person who wants to be treated well.
Interest in the subject. There is no more effective way to increase the motivation of students, than to interest them with your subject.
Communicate the objectives of the class. By informing the students what they will learn and what kind of assignments they will do at the beginning of the class, you allow for internal incentives for motivation.
Emphasize the direct sphere of application of the acquired knowledge. There should be a connection between theory and practical application, as this increases the interest and attention of students
Introduce various forms of organization of students’ activities and alternate different forms of activity. Once students seem to start losing their concentration, you can try changing the type of activity offering an independent work task or asking students to express their point of view on a certain issue.
About the Author
Walter Harley is a writer and blogger living in Maine, US. Walter is passionate about teaching and in his spare time, he helps college students with their assignments at EduBirdie, which is an excellent online platform for students.