Whether you’re a teacher or even a part-time instructor, we all know how difficult it is to maintain student motivation to achieve effective learning. Even though you’ve got a remarkable lesson plan with excellent ideas, it’s of no use until and unless the students are motivated to learn. Failing students, slow learners, inadequate performers; all of these have only one factor in common and that are low levels of motivation.
Once you have arrived at the identification of the solution to your predicament, it’s time to address the issue first hand and create some strategies. After all, we need to make all those years of spending thousands of dollars and working hard at your degree or certification count to its full potential!
Develop meaningful relationships with students
Start at the very root cause of the situation and try to approach students by forming a bond with them. You can do this during classroom hours by individually spending more time with the students that require more attention. Or, you can invite the student to your office and converse freely in that space. Begin by giving them advice or a few helpful pointers that may help them improve their performance, ensure the student is aware you are prepared to assist them at all times, and possibly try to figure out which teaching method would work best with that particular student. Remember: be a listener.
The goal is to communicate to the students that you are on the same team with them.
When students quit seeing the teacher as a threat or someone to be wary of, a friendly-yet-courtly bond is established which is only meant to flourish in the future.
Build healthy and positive competition
The notion of competition in the classroom is not only encouraged, but also essential. Motivation is the underlying element of competition. When students are required to compete, instinctively they utilize out-of-the-box techniques which promote self-development and growth, as it places them in a position that challenges their maximum effort.
It is also vital that you see to it not creating conflicts or sour relations amongst the peers. To achieve this, consider competitions in groups of teams so it has a breeze of healthy air to it. Produce positivity by supporting attributes of good sportsmanship that derives from learning something, no matter the outcome.
Constructively criticize as a form of feedback
One of the crucial roles of being a teacher is providing effective feedback in the style that is intended towards. Often times it may come off as too strong or perhaps even discouraging, eventually leading to demotivation of learning the course as a whole by the student. A generic way to tackle this and to prevent it from happening is to alter your feedback to constructive criticisms.
Even supposing you want to deliver a rather negative or correcting feedback, communicate it in a tone that is friendly and not domineering. You could also start with praise, and in a subtle but clear way, add in the criticizing element, and wrap it up again with a reassuring statement. Kind of just like a sandwich.
Radiate enthusiasm and dedication
There have been times when the tutor seems so indifferent and detached to the course that it becomes evident the students mostly follow up on the same behavior. Similarly, when the teacher is deeply passionate about a subject (you can always tell), their excitement captivates every learner, and unconsciously the classroom becomes more attentive and engaged.
When you begin to visibly teach with more dedication, the concepts you explain and the appropriate examples you present will be grasped more effectively and quickly. This will then result in increased class participation, enhanced performance, and overall motivation for learning.
Dr. Maya Angelou’s students claimed she used to look them deep in the eyes while teaching which made her and her courses stand out amongst all the rest. This made her students want to work harder to impress her because they wanted to get her attention. And that is the power of wonderful educators.
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