As teachers, we put in years of effort to work on classroom management and show our mastery of content. We collaborate with our colleagues and adopt best practices in the classroom. We evaluate learning and provide timely assessments.
However, some students lack interest and motivation. Moreover, a large number of students continue to drop out of school. The issue is that a large percentage of students lack interest in learning.
Studies have shown that students’ motivation to learn, especially their intrinsic motivation, as well as their academic performance tends to deteriorate over time in both K-12 and higher education settings.
How can we keep students engaged in learning and achieve higher levels? How do you motivate students in the classroom?
A student who is not motivated to learn will not benefit from the best-laid plans of a teacher.
It’s about inspiring students to hone their potential. Nonetheless, students must take responsibility for their own learning and develop their own desire to succeed in school.
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How Do You Motivate Students in the Classroom?
1. Get to know your students
Have you intensified the learner-centered classroom? Why do I ask? This is because when your classroom is learner-centered it means you know your students well enough.
How would you know that your student appreciates the story if it’s shown with graphics and images? Just a simple example, yet this can be happening in your classroom.
Knowing your students means recognizing their differences, individual interests, and learning styles. Their personalities and cultural backgrounds must be supported as well.
Moreover, knowing about your students can improve your teaching and can increase student motivation. If you really want to create a safe and productive learning environment you must perceive the students you teach.
Getting to know your students means promoting diversity. You orchestrate an inclusive learning space where students are given equal opportunities for improvement. With this, your students will be more excited to learn with you because they know that they are appreciated and supported.
2. Use varied learning activities
Because of classroom monotony, students get bored and disinterested. A single strategy doesn’t work for everyone in the classroom. It’s a reality.
Just imagine how your students will get dismayed when they aren’t participating because the activities are too challenging for them. It causes frustration and exhaustion.
As you offer varied opportunities for engagement through differentiated instructions, the students increase their attention and focus.
Variety means promoting meaningful learning experiences that allow students to develop higher-order thinking skills as well.
It is a matter of adopting a student-centered approach in the classroom through active learning. Students are expected to participate actively rather than passively observe.
The more hands-on activities or experiential learning activities you employ, the more engaged your students will become.
3. Develop positive relationships
Another effective tool for encouraging student learning is to create a safe learning environment for the students.
By developing positive relationships in the classroom you are intensifying the space of warmth and respect. This makes the students safe and the spirit of support boosts their confidence.
With good relationships, students are more inclined to interact with you and with others. It’s an important strategy that helps you set well-defined parameters in the classroom so your students will know that it’s fine to give their point of view and share their ideas. No intimidation. No timid moments.
The respectful relationships that you have established in the classroom will inspire students to unlock their potential. This should begin on the first day of the school year. By making a perfect start, your students will be happy to be in your class.
Building positive relationships takes time though. But with your solid strategy and passion for teaching, you can earn your students’ trust and help them foster academic success.
4. Set high expectations
It is essential that you make your students believe that you trust their capabilities and you respect their skills. Most students respond positively when you set high and consistent expectations for them.
Studies have proven that a teacher’s expectations will inspire students to perform better. As a teacher, you’ll need to set expectations for your students at various points every day including completing homework, taking exams, following classroom rules, and more.
Find out what you hope to get out of the class. In order to create classroom rules, for example, you may wish to talk to your students and solicit their input. This can make them feel a sense of belonging in the classroom.
Also, make a plan for rewarding or giving consequences to those who comply and those who breach the rules. Be sure to set an example for your students by acting out the expectations you have for them. This is modeling and its efficacy in behavior management has been proven over the years.
Allow them to meet your expectations of them and give them the chance to put them into practice. Remain consistent with your expectations and encourage your students to perform at their best.
5. Articulate clear learning goals
Articulate your learning objectives clearly. What is it that you want your students to develop at the end of the allotted period? Do you want them to identify the parts of the plant? Or do you want them to distinguish fact from opinion?
Your measurable learning objectives provide the structure of your content if it’s aligned with your learning activities and assessment.
Make a plan. Your lesson plan is your guide so you can’t do away with your lesson. By crafting your learning objectives you can easily determine the teaching strategies to be used and it’s easy for you to determine the appropriate assessment.
Make your learning objectives student-centered and make it clear to students what skills they should develop and what output is expected from them. By doing this, your students become responsible for their own learning and keep track of their progress.
Consider what you want your students to be able to accomplish by the end of the lesson. You can clearly state the learning goals in your lesson plan by using this prompt, “At the end of the lesson, the students are expected to…”. Posting them on the board before the lesson begins is also an effective strategy.
6. Teach with a growth mindset
Students should be taught in a way that they have confidence in their talents and skills. Making them so positive about their improvement regardless of their level is a growth mindset. This motivates the students to do well in class.
Teaching with a growth mindset involves instructing students that they can enhance their abilities and talents over time if they work hard enough. Doing this will help students accept challenges and consider failure as a learning opportunity.
Our enriched words of encouragement and acts of comfort play a big role in teaching with a growth mindset. It’s about helping a child not to get discouraged in times of low scores, dropping grades, and low performance. It is about encouraging them to try hard and making them feel you are their great support.
Teaching with a growth mindset is telling the students what it takes to improve their performance and encouraging them to try hard and believe in themselves. And most importantly, you should also adopt a growth attitude about your own teaching skills.
7. Inject humor into the lessons
You may often wonder what prevents students from learning effectively. How do you motivate students in the classroom? What can you do to increase student motivation?
Have you tried cracking jokes during your discussions? Have you tried incorporating humor into your lessons? How does it feel when students laugh at your jokes and respond to your interactions?
Do they not want to listen for more? Humor usually gets students’ attention. In order to foster an accommodating learning atmosphere, you can inject humor into your lessons. This can make learning fun and students will be encouraged to listen intently.
Hence, it’s important for you to add humor to your lessons. You and your students should have fun working together. An appropriate joke about the material you’ll teach or putting on ridiculous remarks along the way could be an option here.
Laugh with your students. It can make them feel relaxed. Because they both love laughing and learning, they’ll have a blast in your class.
<<<Wait! Here’s more. How to motivate students? Watch this video.
Learning must not be an awful experience for the students. They should not be overwhelmed every time they work on their assignments and complete their tasks. They should enjoy what they do. They should be motivated to accomplish things with happiness.
Students should learn with great positivity. Hence, students should be encouraged to believe that they are capable of learning and developing their potential. It’s the role of motivation.
In other words, student motivation is about making the students understand that what they are learning is important and the learning process is interesting. They must see its relevance. Hence, it’s important to make a move to make learning more interesting and motivating.
How else can you capture student motivation? Share your thoughts below.