Motivation is what drives us. It’s what compels us to action.
Thus it makes sense for you to really know what motivates students so that the learning experience will be much smoother and their engagement level will be high.
Here are 10 important things you should know about student motivation according to research by educational psychologists.
1. Have high expectations. Students respond well to high expectations.
The important thing is we help them reach our expectations by setting up a learning environment that will allow them to reach their potentials. We should also model the ways by which they can attain the standards we expect them to reach.
Challenge is one ways to tap their intrinsic motivation.
2. Humor is good. Use it for a variety of purposes in the classroom: stimulation, to illustrate, and to ease tensions.
3. Affirm student differences. Respect their learning styles and interests. That’s why differentiated teaching works.
4. Passion works. In fact, it can be your most powerful motivational tool in the classroom. So exude your passion through your personality and behavior in every opportunity you interact with your students.
5. Get to know your students. Share a bit of your personal life as well. It makes the learning experience easier knowing that you are friends with them.
6. Provide structure in the classroom. Students become motivated in an organized learning environment. This is where mastery of classroom management comes into play.
7. Never work harder than your students. They should be exerting significant effort inside and outside the classroom. In this way, they will learn that effort is essential to be successful.
8. One of your goals as a teacher is to make sure they leave the classroom with a feeling of accomplishment. So celebrate their works by displaying them in the classroom. Provide effective feedback and show them how they are progressing and what they can do to improve further in your class.
9. Make sure your students know the learning goals for every session. Write them down on the board for all to see. In this way, you can always have their attention focused on them during your class. This will motivate them to achieve the learning goals and end each class with a sense of accomplishment.
10. Cooperative learning is good. You can start by researching about Kagan structures. A simple activity to use is the think-pair-share routine wherein everyone thinks about a concept or question and then takes turn with a partner to share ideas.
Your turn. How do you motivate your students?
Share them in the comments below.
We’ll be discussing other powerful ideas on student motivation in the coming posts here in TFT.