Let’s face it—everybody needs a little motivation once in a while. Students are no exception. Staying motivated is the key to success, and students who learn that early have a big advantage. We have some tips, along with motivational giveaways, that will help you boost student drive from the first day of class.
Let them have a say
Have the class work together to create classroom environment and culture. Show them that the classroom, whether in-person or virtual, is a safe place to:
- Make mistakes
- Ask for help
- Express their ideas
Have students create a list of rules and consequences if they are not followed. This will help motivate them to meet expectations and create positive interactions with teachers and each other.
Remember that every student has their own interests, experiences and learning style. Building relationships and sharing information allows students to feel they are in an environment where their needs and interests matter—and that’s a huge motivator.
Get to know the class by holding five-minute “Good News” sessions where students can share something important about their lives.
Help them create SMART goals
Having students set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Specific) goals for the school year helps motivative them. They can choose goals that apply only to them, and they can monitor their progress over weeks, months and semesters. Help them track—and highlight!—their progress with a notebook and pen/highlighter combo.
Make their work relevant
Keep students motivated by showing them the work they’re doing is relevant to their lives. Find ways to tie what they are learning in the classroom to their home life. They will be even more motivated if you help them make those connections themselves. For example, show students that giving a speech in class is good practice for future jobs.
Help them find intrinsic motivation
Student motivation will always be higher if they have reasons to engage with and learn new material. Have them discuss or journal reasons to learn, such as:
- Love to learn
- Want to go to college/university
- Enjoy the material
- Material/projects can be applied to other classwork
- Material/projects might apply to their future employment
Keep them from being distracted
During the school year, procrastination and distraction can pull students away from their work. Have them keep track of what distracts them and find ways to prevent it in the future.
For example, they could place their phone or other electronics out of easy reach or save social media activities as a reward for completing their work. Use a motivational giveaway like a fidget block or tangle ball to keep their hands busy while they are concentrating.
Let’s get motivated
When you know how to motivate students—and how to help them motivate themselves—the sky is the limit on what they can achieve. With every opportunity, students will discover how to better engage with learning today, tomorrow and for life.