Children are easier to motivate yet hard to excavate. Yes, there are kids who are unaware of their capacities due to the competitive surroundings, while on the other hand there are kids who are aware of their potentials yet are unable to find the driving force. To motivate a child is the foremost task of a teacher. Once a child is motivated, he can change the entire game within days. Unfortunately, most of the students remain unaware of their hidden potentials throughout the school age. Why? Because sometimes the teachers are busy appreciating the good graders and neglecting the backbenchers. But, it must be remembered that there are teachers who wish to make each student participate in the learning process and enjoy the learning period. They wish to know how students can be motivated. It is a million dollar game!
Children are either intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated. Teachers play a vital role in offering external motivation to students; however, it is a well-known fact that it is not a one man’s job. It takes a lot of effort on part of a whole team of teachers or maybe days of an effort of a single teacher to motivate a child. Remember that it is not the books, syllabus, lesson plans, lectures, and knowledge that motivate a child. It is the teaching style and the teacher’s little efforts that make a child grow. It is true that even the most educated teacher cannot make a student motivated unless he comes up with some strategies to engage the students perfectly. To make your struggle easier, we have come up with the best strategies for teachers to help motivate a child or student to learn.
- Set Realistic Goals
Goals make a child visualize what they are supposed to achieve. When the teachers prepare the lesson plans, they don’t take students within the loop. Oftentimes, children are unable to understand why they are studying certain topics as the teacher failed to make them understand it. Goals must be realistic. The goals MUST add to the knowledge of students. The goals shouldn’t be too hard or too easy to achieve. There are two types of goals you can set for your students, short-term goals and long-term goals.
For the intrinsically motivated students, have some extra worksheets or activities to do. For the extrinsically motivated students, offer maximum appreciation for their EFFORTS more than the accomplishment of the goal. When the students are unsure of what they are supposed to do, they become frustrated. Once, they know the game, the rules, as well as the strategy, they enjoy solving the problems. The learning process becomes fun and they become a part of it on their own.
- Reward the Efforts
When the child achieves a particular goal, let him know that you are proud of him. Show them that they are valued. Celebrate their little efforts. It is imperative for the parents to celebrate the little achievements of their child and reward them. A sense of accomplishment is the greatest reward for any child. Additionally, rewards and appreciation gives a certain meaning to everything a child tries to achieve. Reward system is such an amazing tool of motivation that it can make a dull boy stir from his slumber. It is a way of giving the respect that every child deserves. Each child must be valued and respected. Disrespecting the children leads to lack of motivation, lack of interest, lack of respect, and lack of attention. Therefore, it is imperative to offer appropriate rewards to children for their efforts.
When students are unable to understand a particular topic, they feel frustrated and angry. For that reason, help out your students to figure out where they went wrong. Once they know the way, they are all set to achieve it.
- Motivate them Learn a New Language
Learning a new language is an interesting way to motivate children. It is one way to increase their intellectual level. If you are a language teacher, this strategy will help your students to take more interest in class. Adding some new words to their mental dictionary would be an amazing idea. By introducing a short course, you can keep the learning process interesting, for example, you can ask the children to learn to say thank you in Portuguese, Good morning in French, and so on.
- Create a Competition
Healthy competition is a great driving force for children to learn new things. Cheer your students to win a racing competition or a spelling bee one. If your student is lagging behind in one thing, remind him of his capacities in another arena of life. Connect the dots and motivate them to do what they are dealing with at that specific moment. Don’t let them shy away from the competition! Group activities and teamwork are a far better way to foster healthy competition. Group activities make the children learn from each other. If someone is unable to grasp the idea from a teacher’s perspective, a fellow student can explain it to him in a better way.
- Create a Friendly Environment
The classroom environment should be friendly and threat-free. Let the child explore the answers his own way. Create a supportive environment for students so that they do not fear to take chances, answer the questions wrong, or at least make an effort. An encouraging environment makes a student find the answers his own way. Every student has his own way of learning such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning. Give each student time to provide feedback and appreciate them for making an effort. Even if they are 0.1% correct, acknowledge it and appreciate them.
- Stay Optimistic
An optimistic outlook is the most important factor of a teacher’s personality. It is commonly said that appreciate the good in people even if it is the only good thing they have. Eventually, they will leave behind everything bad only to get appreciated for those little efforts. Even a young man can be transformed through optimism, then why not a child? Children are far easier to mold, twist, and change.
Self-doubt and inferiority complex kills a child without any notice. As a teacher, it is necessary to never let a child doubt his capabilities. Foster confidence by positive reinforcement and you will find your child soaring to great heights.
About the Author:
Lara Smith has worked for Wall Street English for 20 years. After studying at Stanford University and subsequently doing a CELTA course, she began her career in teaching. She is obsessed with languages and currently writes blogs at https://www.mimicmethod.com/.