Low motivation to study and learn is one of the most common problems that students face across the globe. This affects the teachers as well. When students are not motivated to study, the teachers feel that the efforts that they have put in have gone down the drain and bring their energy levels down. If you are a teacher or an educator trying to figure out how to motivate students to study, this article is going to be super helpful.
Here, we will be talking about 20 amazing tips on how to motivate your students to study. Let’s delve deeper into the topic.
1.Establish a Rapport
In order to motivate students to study, you have to understand what’s preventing them from reading or learning. To understand that, you have to establish a good connection with your students. As we always say, every kid is different and there might be a gazillion reasons for them not to study. Quite often it is lethargy or distractions like games and sports but there might be more to it. Get into the bottom of the issue and remove the concern from the bud. Some teachers think that being strict with students is the only way to get the work done and this is a misconception. Get them to open up to you and this brings us to our next point, communication!
We have talked about the importance of communication time and again in our blogs. That’s how important it is. As George Bernard Shaw rightly said, the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. More often than not, communication in a classroom is a monologue. The teacher must ensure to keep the communication two ways so as to understand the children. You are failing as a teacher if a student is scared to ask you a genuine doubt. Let them know that the classroom is an inclusive space and that you value each of them. Open the platform for regular interactions and this will serve as a motivation for students.
3.Build Communities within the Classroom
As discussed, the students must feel like they are in a safe environment in order to be motivated to study. Build learner communities and conduct events so that the students feel more involved and connected to the curriculum. This will also help to ease the tension and fear that students have. Quite often, children are afraid of failures, and ironically, are one of the reasons that they don’t study. These student communities can engage in quizzes, other educational activities, and games that keep them motivated to learn. you can use the help of various online teaching tools to do this.
4.Competitions and Rewards
Starting from where we stopped in the previous point, conduct events and games within the learner communities that you have created and reward your students. A small pat on the back can go a long way. Encourage children to come up with interesting games and make this a routine in class. Healthy competition can be a great motivation for students. These events can be either played individually or in a group. Try to be creative and innovative. Keep the surprise element or curiosity intact while following a routine.
5.Connect With Parents
As discussed above, there might be countless reasons why students lack the motivation to study. Talk to their parents and get to know more about them. Meaningful teaching does not end within the four walls of a classroom and your responsibility as a teacher does not end with homework and assignments. Take a step further and create a personal connection so that you can resolve any underlying issues.
Show your students that you trust them. By giving them ownership, you are making them responsible and accountable. Let them choose what they want to learn and how they want to do it. You cannot be too rigid with your strategies. You have to alter them in time. Change is the only certainty out there and you have to adapt as time goes. Give students as much control over their own education as possible. With classes moving online and virtual classrooms taking over, giving students ownership is a great way to ensure engagement.
7.Address Them Personally
While taking classes, try and address your students by name. This will have a larger impact than using you, you all, etc. Try saying "well done Amita" than saying "you have done a good job". This has a larger impact than you think. This will make students feel that they are valued and cared for and will motivate them to put in more effort than they usually do.
Some kids may excel in some subjects and may not perform well in some other subjects. If they are not performing well in your subject, do not kill their spirits. Practice critical appreciation and find where they have issues. Spend some extra time with them and acknowledge efforts not just results. This is very important to keep in mind. To motivate students, you have to give them regular and timely feedback to keep them on their feet.
9.Create a Vision and Mission Statement
Before you start a lesson, create a vision and mission statement so that your students know what the expectations are. These statements must act as a route map for both you and the students. Bringing in clarity will help to erase the fear factor and when students know what to expect out of the lesson and what they would be able to do at the end of the class, it is easier for them to evaluate themselves and clear any queries.
10.Incorporate Various Methods of Assessments
If you were to grade a fish based on its ability to climb a tree, it would fail every single time. The same applies to students. Each one would have different abilities. While grading their answer sheets, give weight to their efforts. Apart from exams, use multiple methods to evaluate your students. Education aims for holistic development and low grades in a subject must not kill the spirits of children. Find different avenues to encourage them and involve them. When you are thinking of how to motivate students to do their best, keep this point in mind.
Give your students timely and prompt feedback. This will help them to understand the areas they need to improve in and will encourage them to do their best. Make your feedback stand out. Use phrases like “ this is the best work I have seen so far”, “you all are so uniquely talented” and likewise. Ensure not to hurt anyone but be honest and genuine.
12.Give them options
Present them with new options every day. For example, let them choose how they want the classes to be, whether they want it to be a group discussion, whether they want a seminar, a silent reading followed by a quiz, try new things every day and discover a pattern that suits your students. This is a good motivational activity for college students.
Tell your students that it’s okay to fail and reaffirm faith in them. Demonstrate that you will always be available and that a downfall does not define them. You can share inspiring stories and get them motivated.
We have discussed in detail about how to help students prepare for exams in one of our previous blogs, read it here.
Talk about the wide range of opportunities that your students have. What motivates them is knowing that there’s something at the end of it. Discussing what opportunities they have in the future can help them get motivated and leave behind the lethargic nature.
Be a role model for your students. Preach what you teach and inspire them to do great things. Students often look up to their teachers and you have it in you to make them feel great about themselves and to motivate them. The only rule when it comes to inspiring your students is that there are no rules. You just have to do things that you normally do in a meticulous and optimistic manner.
As discussed previously, you have to create an environment that is encouraging and welcoming. This will help in cultivating interest among your students. Talk to them and understand what they like to do and try and incorporate their likes into your way of teaching. Use multiple resources like videos, audio, podcasts, change the scenery once in a while. Now that classes have moved online, ask your students to take the laptop into the garden if possible or ask them to dress as a particular character and have theme-based classes, keep the novelty intact.
17.Generate Intrinsic Motivation
While talking about how to motivate students to study, it is important to understand that there are two major types of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Let’s talk about intrinsic motivation first. It is the motivation that students find within themselves, without an outside push or pressure. They are doing it because they want to do it and they like to do it. For example, a child plays a game out of interest, they want to pass the levels, earn the rewards, etc, no one is asking them to do it. Intrinsic motivation works similarly. When a student studies and aces their exams and other activities because they are self-motivated to do it. You have to focus on generating intrinsic motivation and the above-mentioned points will help with that.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is the result of a promise, kind of a reward-driven behavior. It might vary from pocket money to fame to popularity, when there are external factors at play, it is extrinsic motivation.
No matter how big or small, progress is progress. As discussed earlier, acknowledge efforts and reward the progress. If you are wondering how to motivate students to study, then this is one of the best ways to let them know that you are not belittling them and their struggles. Create a progress board and track the progress of each student. Talk to them when you feel like they are falling behind and appreciate them when they are outdoing themselves. A threatening atmosphere does not facilitate growth let alone motivation
19.Change Your Approach
Use a variety of teaching strategies and communication approaches and figure out when your students are the most engaged. Combine different types of learning styles, encourage blended learning in your classroom, use the help of various online resources and online teaching apps, and move away from the ideas of conventional teaching. It is said that a good teacher shows where to look but doesn’t say what to look for. Let them figure out what they want by themselves.
Students love it when they are challenged. Present them with daily challenges like flash quizzes, sudden word games, random selection, appreciation, exercises, and likewise. This will help them to be on their feet and they will be attentive. You can ask them to be the teacher for the day and even give them a chance to punish you if they find you talking or not able to answer a question. You can get creative with the kind of challenges that you want to give them.
All great things start with the decision to try. If your students are not motivated or not attentive in class, don’t worry. It is common for students to be distracted and to engage in other activities apart from studying.
Parents and teachers across the globe worry about their children being demotivated. Please bear in mind that extrinsic motivation is not going to be helpful in the long run. When you demonstrate what success looks like and what hard work can help them achieve, it is sure to motivate them. Another thing to keep in mind is to tell your students that there’s no shortcut to success. You have to take the long way and the first step is to stay motivated. As teachers, you can try the 20 points mentioned above to motivate your students. It is sure to be of help.
If you have any tips on how to motivate students to study, please share them with us, we will be happy to hear from you.
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