Even at the best of times, motivation can be an all too common problem for some students. In fact, most teachers would be lying if they said that every morning is met with equal levels of excitement and enthusiasm.
But inspiring your students to focus their efforts on the learning task at hand doesn’t always have to feel like an uphill struggle.
So, the next time a lack of motivation threatens to bring your classroom to a grinding halt, here are 10 simple teaching methods that could push and propel students onto great things. In turn, your job will undoubtedly become a lot easier too.
- Get excited
You’d be surprised at the difference a little excitement can make. Try your best to come across as positive and be enthused by the subject you’re teaching. This enthusiasm is bound to rub off on students.
- Offer rewards
Motivation among your students can noticeably improve if you give them goals to reach, which earn rewards once achieved. You don’t have to offer overly impressive rewards, simply a token that recognises their effort.
- Provide feedback
Feedback is often associated with criticism, which students don’t always appreciate or respond well to. However, positive feedback can be a great tool for motivation, no matter what age group you happen to teach.
- Allow feedback
The classroom should be a place where students are comfortable enough to ask questions and provide their own feedback. They might highlight issues, which can be addressed and then progress to a much more productive learning environment.
- Change the structure
Several teachers are dependent on routine, but the same can’t always be said for students. Therefore, you might want to mix things up a bit with different lesson structures, such as group discussions or hands-on experiences.
- Change the setting
Offering something different doesn’t have to be limited to lesson structure. You could take students away from the classroom and into a different environment altogether. Alternatively, bring in another teacher or even a guest speaker.
- Respect differences
Every classroom will have a diverse mix of personalities. This means that everyone will respond to your motivational methods differently. However, the very best teachers will identify such diversity and embrace it.
- Encourage fun
Although some subjects will be more challenging than others, there is no reason why your lessons can’t be enjoyable and entertaining. It goes without saying that students will be more receptive to learning if they are having a good time.
- Enable ownership
A lack of motivation is particularly apparent when students feel ineffectual or inadequate. To remedy this, think of ways you can hand over control to the classroom to enable ownership and empowerment.
- Establish goals
Not only is the establishment of goals a great way to motivate students, it can also help you track the classroom’s progress. Just be careful about how you frame any objectives, as there is a danger that students may feel undue or unnecessary pressure.