4 Tips For Motivating Students and Changing Lives
Let’s face it. Being a teacher is one of the most important jobs. You are teaching the future and what you do in the classroom has a HUGE impact on children and their life. Here is a very troubling fact. Low literacy is strongly related to crime. 70% of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency according to the National Institute for Literacy. You have the gift of shaping the students in your classroom by teaching them well and motivating them to do and be their best! You aren’t in control of what is going on in their home life, but you ARE in control of the 6 – 8 hours they are with you.
Try these things today in your classroom to get your students motivated and believing in themselves:
1. Build A Relationship
The first thing that needs to be in place in order for you to be in the position to motivate a child is to build a relationship with them. Let them know you care by greeting them at the door every morning. Talk to them about what is going on in their lives. Children have a sense and know when someone cares about them and when they don’t. Show the children in your class they are important to you by being interested in them.
2. Give Praise and Encouragement
About 90% of the things student do in class go unrecognized. Spend one day paying attention to how much praise and encouragement you are giving students versus how much you reprimand. Praise and encouragement is a powerful tool to get children to succeed and it must be used consistently. Not once in a while. It also must be used for ALL students. Be specific with your praise. For example, instead of saying, “Nice job on your test.” say “You must feel great about the A you got on your math test!”
3. Set Goals
Sit down with each student and talk with them about setting a goal. It can be a goal in anything, academic or social. Help them to create the goal, write it down and then plan out what they need to do to reach that goal. Also discuss with them how they will know they are on track for meeting their goal and have them write that down too. During this meeting you are the facilitator. You are guiding their thoughts and where they are going.
4. Motivate Through Your Instruction
Nowadays children are stimulated by video games and computers. Teacher need to be energetic and show you are enthusiastic about what you are teaching. I have been in classrooms, I kid you not, where the teacher has made it very clear to the students that they don’t want to be teaching what they are teaching and guess what? The students end up not caring either! On the other side of the coin, I have also seen teachers who have made a subject that seemed like it would be very boring, come alive through their instruction and the kids sucked it up! You need to act as if what you are teaching is the best thing since sliced bread. Trust me! It works! Vary the way students learn by having them work in teams, using visuals and providing times for children to engage in their learning.
Remember, your job is VERY important so use the opportunity to make a change in a child’s life and put them on the path to success!