Motivating Students In order to motivate students, your classroom must be an enjoyable experience. Motivation will be next to impossible, if your classroom does not have an inviting atmosphere.
What does your classroom look like? Is it sterile and clinical? Like a prison? Blank walls? Your classroom needs color and excitement. Put up posters. Put up students' work. You need to hook the students, as soon as they set foot in your classroom.
Making your classroom an enjoyable place to learn is actually half the battle. Each child is different and requires a different motivation. Finding what motivates each student will help increase student achievement
I would recommend the following pointers for motivating students:
Remaining positive and focusing on achievement will motivate students. Consider creating a student of the week bulletin board to focus on the positives in each student.
Provide Opportunities for Success
Struggling students need to succeed in some small ways in order to be motivated to achieve in greater ways. Add simple questions to homework assignments, or asking basic questions and ensure that the weaker students have a chance to answer.
The more excited you are about something, the more excited your students will be. If you find the topic you are teaching boring, so will your students, so find creative ways to teach the most boring lessons.
What is your demeanor? Are you excited about teaching? Are you glad and happy to see the students? You must be warm, inviting, and enthusiastic about teaching language, and be well prepared.
Allow Students to Earn Rewards
Students are motivated with rewards
Students need a reward for learning. No, this is not prizes or candy. That may work to get a task completed, but not motivate for real learning. Remember, we are looking to motivate students into learning, not necessarily completing a task.
Have activities that your students can work on together. Have your students work in teams on projects that enable learning through exploration.
Make a habit of publicly praising students for achievement. You can even go as far as to create a certificate of achievement, Have the student stand to receive the certificate, and send it home for the child's parents to display on the refrigerator.
Praise goes a long way. This is the reward you can give out frequently and it's free. Write notes on their papers. Say things to them as you walk around the room. Call everybody by name and encourage them. Put student work on the walls. Put a piece of work from ALL students at various times. Call home and praise your students to their parents.
Teach Problem Solving Skills
Teaching your students to solve problems will allow them to be naturally interested in what they are learning. Providing opportunities for students, to make mistakes and figure out how to accomplish a goal, will make school more interesting, and thus motivate them to try.
Students need a reason for doing the assignment.
Give them one. Each teacher will have to come up with this on their own. No help here is given because if you can't think of a reason for teaching something, you can't motivate students. Here are some hints. How does it affect them? Does it make them a better citizen? Learner? Relate it to their life. Relate it to their future. Relate it to their ego. Relate it to current events. You cannot just say, "Because."
If your students have a reason to learn the material and get praise from you, that's really all motivation they need.
Choose your opening to the lesson in such a way, that it makes the students want to know more.
It may sound silly, but a story can be a very effective way.
Using the Lincoln example, "Let me tell you about an english
guy whose mother died when he was nine. His first girlfriend got sick and she died. Eventually he became president." Create curiosity about what is to come.
Once your students want to know more, you have them hooked. They are motivated! You want your students to go home everyday and say, "Guess what I learned?"
The more success a student sees in the classroom, the more motivated he will be to continue to succeed. Motivating students takes a little effort, but the reward is well worth the work. Be creative as you figure out what motivation works for each student in your class. The more motivated your students are, he more learning will take place.