Getting the Best of Everything
Motivating students is a tough task for teachers. Once students reach a certain age, they no longer feel the need to attend school, let alone enjoy it.
It is up to teachers to motivate their students. Without at least minimal motivation, your teaching will fall flat and there will be little or no real learning in your classroom. How do you currently try and motivate students?
Ways to motivate students from the first day of school to be the best students. Believing and treating one’s students as the best, will promote students to be the best.
Every year as a new school year begins every teacher has a chance to make a difference in each of his or her students towards learning. Many students go to school and make a conscious or sometimes unconscious decision about the teachers they meet. The saying “First Impressions last a lifetime” can sometimes make the difference between winning a student over to trying to learn or the direct opposite: student apathy.
In order to get the best effort, the best behavior, and the best the student has to offer, a teacher must first show the student how much the teacher values their students. By showing their students proper respect as well as professionalism in presenting one’s classroom in a positive and well decorated environment, students are more likely to feel welcome which can lead to improved motivation.
The following are some things a teacher can do to try to show the student that how much the student learns as well as how the student develops as a person as well as a human being does matter and does make a big difference to the teacher:
1. In order to get the most from one’s students, the first day of school is probably the most important day of the year. As students walk the hallways to go to their classes everything they encounter will make an impression on them. These impressions can be about many things, but most importantly, they can be both about the teacher and the school itself. Consequently, greet the students enthusiastically at the door to your room. Be positive as positive begets positive.
2. It is best for students to see classrooms decorated with content material to be taught by their teacher. The decorated classroom with bright colors and content posters signify an upbeat classroom. It is more likely to develop student interest in both the course and the teacher.
3. Have materials well organized to give to the students about the course concerning rules and procedures for the course which demonstrates to the student that a teacher does know what they are doing: teaching America’s best. By treating your students as the best, they will become the best for you. Remember the expression, “if you think you can you will, if you think you can’t, you won’t.” So, if one lets them know one thinks they are the best, they will become the best for one.
4. Greeting one’s students as they come in the room displays a warm human being who is also a teacher of the course material. By showing manners and proper concerns for the students at the outset of the course will make it easier to discipline students later should the case arise.It also follows that by respecting students, the students more than likely will respect the teacher.
5. Starting the class on the first day by everyone introducing themselves to the class and saying something about their summer accomplishes a couple of things. It breaks the ice for both the student and the teacher. And, having everyone share in their summer activities shows the class that the teacher values them as people as well as displaying that the class is an entire unit like a small family.
6. After the introductions, a discussion of the rules with the students is a very important step in building consensus for the class. In this manner, all classroom procedures can be discussed with the class and their input and opinion can be listened to. By listening to their opinions, one shows their students that rational thought and expression are allowed and appreciated. This is necessary later for students to share critical and analytical points of view from the course material. Students will remember that from the onset of class, the teacher appreciated student opinion and thought as well as group discussion. And, this is very important first, even when the teacher knows that the decision and implementation of school rules will not be changed or affected by group discussion. In this case, the teacher can tell the class that even though they don’t agree with a rule or decision, the student still has the right to their own opinion. And, the teacher can use this opportunity to comment that there are many things in life that one doesn’t like but still has to do. And, that this applies to everyone including teachers.
By showing your students these simple things from the first day of school as well as following through on them to the best of one’s ability throughout the school year, the students are more likely to feel welcome in one’s class. From here, the opportunity for the teacher to facilitate student learning can begin. And, one will get the most from their students because one believes their students are the best.
If your students have a reason to learn the material and get praise from you, that’s really all motivation they need. It sounds simple, but remember it is hard. Over the course of the school year, you will get better.
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 a guy whose mother died when he was nine. His first girlfriend got sick and she died. Eventually he became president.”
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?”
Recapping student motivation, first is you and your classroom. Next comes a reason for learning. You then create a curiosity about what is to come.
All the best/