Teachers as Motivators

Motivation is a reason for acting or behaving in a particular way. Motivation provides stimulation, incentive and inspiration to perform and act in certain ways. 

How can a teacher use motivation to inspire and encourage students to achieve successful personal, social and academic outcomes? 

Is it enough to display a motivational message in your classroom to inspire students? 
Do filling jars with beads to receive rewards motivate your students? How long does the motivation last?
What about handing out stickers and stars, do they work all the time?
Does the success criteria you display motivate all students to work during every session to achieve the expected outcomes?

What could you do to motivate students?

Here’s some ideas!

1. Yes, use motivation signs. 

  • Change them regularly. Allow students to research and select suitable quotes to display. Asking students to justify their choices will reveal interesting thinking and discussions. 
  • Allow students to design and display their own motivation messages. Students can explain and lead the class discussion in relation to the message. 
  • Refer to a motivational message before sending students off to complete the set task. 
  • Ask each student to tell you how they will use the message to motivate themselves. Ask before they return to their seat to begin work. This will reveal lots of different thinking. 
  • At the end of a session question students. e.g. What did you achieve that links with the motivational message?

2. Write Notes to your Student:

Providing  students with personal Written Notes is an excellent form of motivation. 

3. Use Class Meetings:  

Thank students for their personal, social and academic achievements during Thank You Time. (Morning Meetings) Handing out a personal note at this time is a great motivator, especially if you also follow up later with a quiet word of extra praise in their ear. 

4. Decision Making: 

Allowing students to make personal decisions, be independent thinkers and problem solvers develops self motivation and incentive to achieve. Check out the website for over 40 strategies to build students skills in these areas.

5. A Roving Motivator:

Using all or one of Seven Roving Techniques everyday in your classroom will motivate students. A kind word here, a note given there, written feedback as students are working will motivate students to go that extra mile to achieve success.

6One Up Day: 

Try a One Up Day. It’s an instant motivator and you will be amazed at the ideas your students generate. Follow this link to read about a One Up Day

Teachers are more than teachers. We need to be motivators to get students excited and interested.

You have the opportunity to motivate, influence and change the way students see themselves as learners, how they think and respond and what they achieve. You are a ‘personal trainer’ in your student’s school life. You are right there with them through the school day. 

Yes, it’s a day to day challenge but well worth the outcomes and expectations we want for every student we teach. 

We all get a boost after being praised for our achievements. Being acknowledged and thanked is a great motivator for everyone. It will certainly make a positive difference to your students.