Last week, we discussed the importance of keeping you, the teacher, happy. Just as important as you being happy is your students being happy. Students that are happy and motivated to learn are more likely to perform well in the classroom. Helping students to reach that motivation, however, can very from child to child. Here are a few tips that may help different students in your classroom stay motivated.
#1 – Keep Students Motivated by Learning their Multiple Intelligence
Each child is different. They come from different cultures and backgrounds. Their home lives differ from child to child. Each one is unique, and because of that, they have their own intelligence. Be sure that you, as a teacher, can identify Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences in each student. By doing so, you will be able to integrate different teaching styles in your classroom that different students will benefit from.
#2 – Keep Students Motivated by Creating a Welcoming Environment for Students of All Backgrounds
Again, each child in your classroom is unique. You may have a child who can’t walk. You may have one that just moved from one country to another and is adapting to change. Life at home could be extremely difficult for some of your students, or they may have vision or hearing problems. Children like to know that no matter their story, they are welcome and accepted by their teachers. Children will feel more comfortable at school if they feel teachers are advocating for them and genuinely caring for them. Whether you agree with their culture and background or not, remember that they need you to love and to teach them. You’re the best one to do it!
#3 – Keep Students Motivated through Encouragement!
Many people, young and old, are motivated through encouragement and praise. A simple pat on the back goes a long way. Even if a child hasn’t grasped a concept, encourage the student to keep trying. Praise them for their hard work. If they are feeling down on themselves, be the voice that shows them their worth. Children need reassurance sometimes. If they are doing something wrong, encourage them to better. Keep your conversations as positive as possible, and you will find that the students respond to you better.
#4 – Keep Students Motivated by Getting to Know Them
While students are in centers, on the playground, at lunch, etc., have one-on-one time with different students. Ask them about their likes and dislikes. Find out their favorite color. What shows and movies are they watching at home? Connecting with individual students is one of the biggest keys to being a successful teacher. Show them that you care about more than just their grades. These students will be more willing to put in some effort for you behaviorally and academically if they see that you care. Your job will also be more fun if you figure out ways to incorporate different interests into your classroom!
#5 – Keep Students Motivated by Challenging Them!
Because you have different intelligences in your class, you have students that are in different academic levels as well. One may exceed at reading while the other is still struggling to identify some of their alphabet. While you are helping those that are struggling or those that are right on track, don’t forget to challenge those that have already mastered the concept as well. When children feel as if they aren’t being challenged, they become bored and begin to disrupt the classroom. Children need to be continually challenged in order to succeed.
Teachers, we love all that you do! We notice your motivation and commitment to your job. We hope that we are able to help you keep that up so that you can continue to motivate your students as well. Keep up the great work, and Have Fun Teaching!