Feb 09

Motivating Students to Learn

Improving students’ motivation is one of the most challenging tasks as a professor. It takes patience and commitment, and it cannot be done without enough love and care. Let’s be honest! You must love teaching if you are in the classroom daily, working towards achieving amazing goals (and not getting tired of it).

Now that we agree that you love teaching, it is time to talk about motivation. How do you motivate students who have no interest in your subject? How can you increase their attention span and studying motivation? Well, there are some great ways to do it if you commit to it. Here are some innovative teaching methods you could use in the classroom.

  1. Create the Right Environment

Creating a good setting for your students is going to help with their progress and motivation. If pupils are situated in an unattractive-designed classroom with unpleasant characteristics, they might feel reserved about coming to class. Students need an open and warm environment in order to feel themselves. And if you make them feel good, you can make them do anything.

  • Don’t threaten them when they don’t complete their tasks, but explain to them why they might be wrong by doing so.

  • Don’t argue with them, let them understand your reasons.

  • If they come to you for help with the same problem a million times, help them a million times more. They need your support.

  • Don’t make them feel bad in front of the whole classroom. Don’t joke about their appearances or intelligence level. Take them as they are.

  1. Be Creative

Not all of your students are going to respond to your teaching methods in the same way. Some might enjoy them, some might react by losing motivation. Observe their reactions and help the students who don’t fit the pattern by using creative methods. For example, if one student does not understand that 5×5 equals 25, take 25 candies, spread them into 5 sets, and explain the equation again. I am sure this time they’ll get it!

  1. Use Competition as a Developing Tool

Competition can be tricky. It might work for some students, yet it might make others feel uncomfortable. In such situations, I would normally recommend giving up on this method, but its future impact is too crucial to do that.

Competition is a real-life thing that they are going to encounter everywhere they go. You need to get your students used to it in order for them to be good at their tasks later. Teach them to step over their fears and conquer the world by making them compete with each other! It is both entertaining, and life-teaching.

  1. Give Out Rewards

Every child wants to be applauded and cheered for his or her hard-work. Giving out small rewards is the best way to do it. Bring candies or cake to class every now and then, and make them fight for the sweets. Make them engage in the classroom by offering them the responsibility to win, and thus, enhance their studying motivation!

  1. Make Students Work Together

Solving problems in groups is so much fun! Students are going to have a blast interacting with each other and trading interesting ideas. If they work together, they not only develop teamwork skills, but they learn to listen and consider their colleagues’ points of view. This great method of teaching makes them more interested in learning because of their small audience – their colleagues – and the need to impress them.

  1. Get to Know Your Class

Any good teacher knows his or her class. That is not debatable, and it will never be. If you want to motivate your students to learn, you must understand their personalities and interact with them at a deeper level. If they see that you care, they might even open up to you more than you think. Once they do that, you won’t lose them again.

They are going to respect you too much to not pay attention to your class. Their motivation will increase, sometimes only to prove that they respect you that much. So, you get both: a close relationship with your students, and an improved work ethic in the classroom. Isn’t that just great?

  1. Reflect on the Reasons Why They Should Study

Leave time for a reflection session every week of class. Take 30 minutes to ask them why they think they should learn. Write down their ideas, and track their responses throughout time. You might be amazed of how fast they change if you take the right steps into increasing their motivation!

Wrapping Up

Motivating students to learn is a piece of cake if you love your job. As I am already sure that you do, make sure you gain their respect and make the classes fun, and they are going to love you even more than you love teaching (if that is even possible). Make the right chances at the right time!

Contributors Bio

Contributor photo Lona Glenn
Los Angeles
Lona graduated from Los Angeles City College. While being a lecturer in several high school institutions Lona founded an online educational project Tutorsclass.Read more
Contributor photo Maria Castle
Davis, CA
I studied education and currently work as a tutor for school-age children. I've worked as a volunteer in many different international social projects and as a camp counselor every summer.Read more

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