Making sure your students are motivated during your classes is a huge part of the teaching process. Sometimes you can feel like you're doing everything right, but if your students aren't motivated it could be a huge problem. Not only will they not be having a good time in your classes, but they also probably won't be learning very much either.
A lack of motivation could also mean that your students won't want to participate, which could even lead to them becoming disruptive and ruining the experience for the rest of your class, as well as themselves.
There's a number of different reasons why your students might not be motivated, but it's important, as a teacher, for you to be able to tackle the problem head on with your entire classroom before it becomes a widespread issue. We look at some easy ways to try and keep your entire class motivated throughout your whole teaching experience with them.
Giving praise may be something that you reserve for very special occasions, but it's important for your students to know when they are doing well, so you might want to consider giving them praise whenever they do something well. Even students who are doing well may lose their motivation if they don't feel they are doing their best work, or if they feel their work isn't being recognised.
This isn't about making a huge deal out of every tiny thing that someone does well, but it's more about making sure that you are encouraging your students with positive reinforcement. If your students do something good or something that you're really impressed by, make sure you tell them. Seeing students who are doing well getting a lot of praise may also encourage students who aren't doing as well to get move involved and start getting praise themselves.
While it is important to raise any issue that you may see, try not to be too critical of anything a student is doing wrong, as this could be very disheartening for them. Try to give constructive feedback, and make sure you highlight the things they have done well, as well as the things that could use some improvement. This means they will know what they to work on, but will also feel good about the things they are already doing well.
If your students don't feel they can talk to you, or come to you when they are having an issue, this could cause a big problem. They will be unlikely to raise any problems they are having, which means their work could really suffer as a result. Also, if they feel you don't care about them, it is unlikely they will bother caring about the work they are producing.
Making sure you're approachable can be simple things like smiling at your class, letting them ask questions when they get stuck, or working your way round the room when they are completing work to make sure they are not having an problems. You could also take it a stage further by letting your students know they are able to contact you outside of normal class times, as they may have additional questions or get stuck in the lead up to an assessment. By providing additional support with extra study classes, or letting your students email you, you are showing that you are willing to make that extra effort to help your students.
Obviously you will care about how your students perform in your classes, but if you're projecting yourself as unapproachable, your students may think that you don't care. Making the extra effort to make a connection with your class could make all the difference to those students who think you're not bothered or difficult to talk to.
Get Them Involved
If your students think that their opinion doesn't matter, they may be less inclined to do their best work in your class. While the teacher is obviously in charge, it's important to listen to the people you are teaching too, as they may have comments and opinions on how they are being taught and your teaching. Not listening to feedback, or collecting feedback but not doing anything with it are signs that you're not really interested in what your students have to say. If they see this, this again may lead them to think you don't care, and will discourage them from producing their best work.
One easy way to do this is to encourage them to share any ideas and comments they have during the class. This links into the point of being approachable we mentioned above, so your students feel they can raise a point with you without feeling stupid. It's important for your students to be actively involved in the learning process, instead of just feeling they are being taught at all the time, so letting them participate is a good way to get them involved.
You can also ask them for feedback, whether it's on a particular assessment, or your teaching overall. This will mean you can see what your students think you are doing well, and what they feel could use improvement. You will then be able to use this feedback for future assessments and classes to make sure you are providing a class which your students are very happy with it.
If your students feel they are able to provide input into their classes, which they see that you value, it should encourage them to be more motivated. They will see that their opinion is valued, and this should help them become more involved in future sessions.
Keeping your students motivated is a really important part of your job as a teacher or a trainer. You want to make sure that they learn as much as possible, but keeping them interested in the class and excited about what you are teaching them is just as key. If you students are excited to come to class, and feel really involved in their learning journey they are more likely to not only enjoy their time in your class, but also learn a lot more than they would otherwise.
Make sure you take the extra time to get your students excited about your class, as a little bit of effort could end up having a huge effect on all your students!