Teachers invest a lot of time and resources to earn materials necessary for their professions, such as degrees and certificates. Apart from the bare minimum, teachers also engage in conferences and collaborate with other teachers to ensure they offer quality education. They develop a system of teaching, instruction, and assessment to make sure their methods are productive. Different educators work overtime for students to remain on track. Yet, it all fails at times.
Motivation is vital for the success of any student. Teachers may develop the best teaching plans, but their efforts will fail when the students lack motivation. Some educators still hold on to the old-fashioned idea that a teacher’s job is to deliver the textbook knowledge, and the students should seek inspiration on their own. This is a very misguided opinion as it is the teacher’s role to develop a wholesome learner. Children need a lot of inspiration to learn, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure they remain motivated, here are some essential strategies.
Grow Personal Relationships with the Students
Students have different personalities, interests, and hobbies. Thus, as a teacher, you should purpose to know each student on a personal level. Learn who they are as people and discover more about their backgrounds. To do this, you could encourage more out of class sharing, where students talk about their homes, families, or any other aspects of themselves they may want to share. You could also share some of your personal experiences to foster the sharing culture. Your vulnerability may encourage them to open up and share. It also creates a neutral environment where students feel they can ask questions more freely. That allows you to understand their problem areas and how to help them. This will also help you gauge what motivational strategy to use for every student. At the same time, it is vital to keep such relationships respectful.
Most students may forget that complex mathematical formula, but they will always recall the inspiration to understand it. Inspiring your students leaves a permanent imprint on them, where they can find motivation frequently. You can encourage your students by sharing your challenges and how you overcame them. For example, you could explain to your students how you overcame your writers’ block and went ahead to win a college paper writing service award. Explain to them how you got the point of success, and the journey will be a huge inspiration. You could also share your current goals. For example, if you are training to complete a particular marathon, you could share the process with the students and make it a teachable moment.
Traditional teaching methods often involve directions from the educator, then individual assessment to analyze every student’s understanding. In most cases, students do not grow their ability to work together independently without the instructor. They take notes, then prepare for the tests without properly synthesizing the knowledge. As a teacher, you should encourage students to work among themselves. After the main session, you could introduce group discussions, where they assist one another. Learning becomes a collective responsibility, where they feel responsible and in control of their knowledge. While working together, they may also develop simpler and easier ways of understanding concepts. As an educator, you should recognize that and encourage it to motivate the student’s interests in education. When they feel that they are active participants in the learning process, they become eager to learn more.
Foster a Growth Mindset
Most conventional learning systems focus on the final results of a student’s assessment and not the journey. A bright student may get high points in a specific subject without much effort, and they will receive all the acknowledgment leaving out the average student who has worked hard for a particular mark. The fixed-mindset recognizes the result and not the process. To improve motivation among students, an instructor should apply the growth mindset. This is a mindset where the teachers notice the efforts of every student. For example, instead of commending their A grade in Mathematics, an instructor could compliment the extra hours a student put in at Math group work. You applaud the effort, not the ability. Additionally, assessment methods could encourage the growth mentality by including both formative and summative tests. Formative tests help in identifying areas of weakness before the final summative test.
As an educator, you have numerous tools on how to help a student. However, every student is different, and some methods may not apply. Understanding your students is central to knowing what techniques are helpful. Looking into new learning approaches and tech innovations such as virtual learning, AI, game learning to find modern ways to motivate them may also help. Times are always changing, and so are the student’s attitudes. Keep up with the trends, their preferences, and growing personalities to understand them better.