Teaching: How to motivate our students?

Let me tell you this. Teaching teens in 2022 is not as easy as it seems.

No, my students aren’t bad kids; I think they just lack guidance and discipline. They lack motivation and while we, as teachers, try to encourage them, sometimes, it is not enough.

In today’s post, I would like to share techniques on how to motivate students nowadays. Now, this comes from my experiences; it may work for you or it may not.

  1. Share anecdotes

Students LOVE when their teachers share anecdotes. Other than the fact that they are not actually doing work, they are quite interested in hearing stories. When you feel like your students aren’t engaged with your activity or lesson, spend some time just talking to them about life or various topics that you think they might be interested in. If you don’t have time to do what you had planned, it’s ok, just leave it for the following class.

I think after sharing anecdotes, students are more interested in coming to your class because they either relate to your stories or they just think you’re cool. Either way, you get them motivated (at least a little).

2. Group work for a limited time

It can be scary for us teachers to put our students in groups for the fear to lose control of the class. Honestly, students are more likely to be engaged in the work if they work with their peers than just listening to us talk for long periods of time and working individually.

However, for them to be productive, you can’t let them work for a long time. If you ask them to complete 2 pages of exercises, don’t give them 40 minutes to do it. Start with 10 or 15 minutes. That way, they feel the need to finish quickly. If the majority is not finished after those 15 minutes, then you can add a bit more (3-5 minutes) before you correct or recap as a whole class.

3. Compliments

I think walking around the classroom while they’re doing work and commenting positively on what they’re doing or what they’re wearing makes them feel good about themselves. You also build connections with them. A simple “I like your shirt” can lighten up the mood. Sometimes, the students participate more or are willing to perform better in class after you complimented them. To add, remembering what they’ve told you before is also a good way for them to know that you care. If they know that you care, then perhaps they’ll care more about your class.

Those are my top 3 techniques for motivating our students. I’m sure there are more. If you know any, feel free to share. I would love to learn more.


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