How Teachers Can Motivate Students?
- Jan 08, 2015
As I take a stroll down the memory lane, I recall how some of my friends made frequent excuses to skip school. Our teachers secretly shared a good laugh over the silliest of excuses given by students, in their staff-rooms. While some suffered from ‘serious stomach cramps’ every Thursday (we had double Math periods every Thursday!), few others ‘attended family get-togethers’ every Tuesday (the day surprise tests would be announced). Strange coincidence, isn’t it?
That’s not all. One of my class-mates, Sophia complained of ‘headaches’ whenever it was time for History lessons, and the list goes on and on. Now, what is it that turns you off, students? Have you ever thought about it? Is it the subject being taught or the teacher? Or, is it the general environment of your classrooms? I feel, for most school learners, it is the teaching style that fails to engage them.
Having said that, I must also add that motivating students is quite challenging for teachers. So you see, it’s easier said than done, especially when teachers are addressing a large group of students in educational institutions. For, the understanding level of each student varies. Therefore, I feel modern-day teachers must innovate classroom education to make it more convenient for learners.
But how can teachers motivate their students? I have a few ideas:
- Tailor-make your teaching style: As I mentioned earlier, each one of us are different. Teachers must therefore tailor-make their mode of instruction to cater to the needs of every kind of learner. For instance, teachers can use charts, graphics or illustrative diagrams for visual students, while explaining them any topic. On the other hand, some might be auditory learners. So, chances are their minds might wander far away from the subject you’re teaching them, if you are just reading from a book. It’s a good idea to know your students, before you attempt try teach them.
- Offer exciting rewards: Who doesn’t love surprises? When the average marks of your class equals your expectations, arrange a class party for your students. Such small incentives would brighten up their mood instantly. Also, it would strongly motivate students to be effective learners and score well in exams. You can also declare a small prize for the best performer in your class, before their final exams or class tests. If students have an immediate goal, they would strive to pour in their efforts just to reach them. It also inspires increased classroom participation amongst pupils.
- Change teaching materials: Isn’t it natural for students to yawn during lectures if you are still glued to the chalk and blackboard? Or, the textbook? Introduce innovation into the modern classrooms to capture the attention of your students. For instance, you can use various platforms of social media in classrooms while imparting education on a particular topic. Collect additional information regarding your topic from reference books and the Internet. Ask your students to complete an assignment with the aid of the Internet. Why not share some tips for learning a subject more easily in a common Facebook group?
- Encourage your students: Trust me, even a small word of encouragement can give a student enough impetus to learn their lessons successfully. And also, to perform well in exams. Don’t forget to appreciate your students when their scores improve, or when they learn some formulas quickly. Similarly, when a student struggles with a topic, suggest the areas in which they can upgrade their knowledge and add how they can go about it. In short, encourage students to visualize their success. For example, students weak in Math can visualize grasping Mathematical concepts faster than they normally can.
- Alter the classroom environment: When I was a high schooler, I never studied in the same room every day. I often switched between my study-room, drawing room and even dining room, simply because studying in the same room made my lessons seem dull. Imagine how bored students might feel, sitting in the same classroom regularly. Arrange a field trip for a change. Or, schedule your class in a different classroom sometimes, if field trips are not possible immediately. Some teachers even take students to the library, to help them prepare notes from reference books.
- Involve students in your class: If students know that their teacher would quiz them right after the lecture, they would obviously listen to teachers with rapt attention. However, the attention spans of students usually linger for about thirty minutes, not more than that. So, find out new ways to get students to listen to you when you are teaching them. You can choose students randomly, and ask them to read out certain portions of a chapter in Environmental Education, or History. Not only does it engage pupils, but it also enables them to remember facts more easily.
- Provide regular feedback: A system of regular feedback based on the performance of each student is an important yardstick for checking the average motivation levels of students. So, evaluate students based on how they participate in classrooms as well as in exams. Teachers must also ask students to get their parents’ signature on their answer sheets, to keep parents in the loop. Because, at the end of the day, parents are the best people to influence their kids and encourage them in academics. Maintaining such a discipline would automatically drive students to be more serious in classes.
With a bit of some smart efforts from your end, students can really be immensely motivated to learn better and quicker. For, as I have said earlier, learning need not suffocate learners, in any age. It must be a spontaneous and thrilling process. So, are you ready to adopt some of these smart strategies to motivate your students today? And, if you have some more ideas on how to keep students motivated, why don’t you share them with us in the comments section below? Would love to hear from you!
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