As a critical factor in paving the way for students’ success, motivation is crucial in almost all the stages of a student’s life. Even the best books, lessons, teachers, or learning materials will not educate students if they are not self-motivated.
So, it becomes the teachers’ responsibility to encourage self-motivation among their students. We shall further discuss some ways to encourage self-motivation in students with that in mind.
Why is Self-motivation Important for Students?
Be it intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, every student needs encouragement as it highlights their achievements and helps them persist longer under challenging situations, develop confidence, and produce more effort for their tasks.
Developing self-motivation gives the students the drive to push forward when they are ready to quit, help them improve their creativity, face setbacks with more determination, and remain optimistic for the future.
As students transition from their learning phase to society, these factors influence them to succeed. Hence, encouraging and developing self-motivation in a student is very important.
However, even the most educated and experienced teachers sometimes lack the necessary skills to keep students on track and provide them with a good amount of self-motivation. So, as a teacher, you can try to use one of the following methods to encourage self-motivation in students.
Ways To Encourage Self-motivation In Students
1. Get to know your students
You can start by knowing your students thoroughly. Understanding your students is not as simple as memorizing their names. As a teacher, you should look out for their habits and interests and understand that you care about them.
A student will feel appreciated if he sees his teacher caring about him. Students, like everyone else, want to get praised and receive positive feedback from the individuals they respect. This will help boost their morale while encouraging self-motivation.
2. Make your classroom a fun place to learn
A fun-filled environment does a lot to improve a student’s motivation than a threat ever does. Students who view their class as a fun learning place are more inclined to pay attention during a class session. Students are also more likely to perform their tasks well if driven by self-interest rather than pressure.
You can make quizzes, talent shows, and other extra-curricular activities in the classroom to make your class environment much more interactive. It helps boost students’ motivation to learn and enhances cooperation, engagement, and communication among your class students.
3. Encourage positive and healthy competition among students
A healthy competition among students in a class is a necessity, and it can often self-motivate a student to work hard and strive to excel. When you work to foster a friendly spirit of competition among your students, it gives them a chance to show off. This, in turn, pushes them to make sure that they try their best to win the competition.
However, students must be taught that winning the competition is not everything. They must realize that learning new things and making themselves better are essential. They must learn persistence and perseverance, which will keep them motivated all the time. Otherwise, the spell will work backward, and they will end up demotivating themselves, thinking that they are losers.
4. Make sure that your class is free of bullies
The idea that “I’m a loser” or “I am less than others” impacts the mentality of a child more than anything. A bully will ultimately break the confidence and willpower of the bullied, and hence, it will result in emotional and mental breakdown. It is less likely that children are motivated in this harsh environment. After all, why would a student complete his assignment if he knows that a bully will steal it?
That’s why it becomes an utmost priority for teachers to identify the cause of bullying and stop them.. Teachers can prevent bullying by talking to the bully’s parents, teaching students how to deal with bullies, and ensuring that bullies or bullying incidents are handled immediately. When teachers create a threat-free environment in their class, students are far more motivated to perform their tasks as they feel safe from bullies.
5. Layout the rules, objectives, and expectations from the students
It is hard to get self-motivated when you do not know what others are looking for. Such is the case with students. If the students do not understand what teachers want, remaining motivated won’t be easy.
Hence, you as a teacher need to lay out your goals, objectives, and expectations from the students at the start of the learning year to remain focused and motivated in achieving the goals through their learning year.
6. Teach your students about responsibility and self-reflection
Teach students what they most misunderstand, taking a task as a burden rather than responsibility. Clarify the difference between the burden and responsibilities to them. It is necessary to make your child understand why one should be responsible and make them better people. It will motivate them to work harder to fulfill their responsibilities and achieve their goals.
Another thing that you need to teach your students is self-reflection. Self-reflection is crucial for students, and it is a good thing for students to do as it allows them to be aware of themselves and their abilities. Students get self-motivated by being critiqued rather than having others criticize them, and it will give them the feeling of being in charge of themselves. So, make sure that your students remain self-motivated by encouraging self-reflection.
7. Harness your student’s interests and do not stifle their creativity
Not all students are the same. Everyone has different interests, and please encourage them to pursue their interests. Do not be too rigid in teaching, and bring some fun and exciting teaching materials to the table. This motivates the students to be active and engaged during learning.
While encouraging the students to follow their interests boosts their motivation, stifling their creativity will discourage them and make them lose motivation. So, make sure that you never stifle your student’s creativity for the sake of your personal preference or curriculum’s demands. Whether painting or writing, make sure that you always appreciate your students for what is on their minds and what they create.
8. Track your student’s progress and give necessary feedback
It might be difficult for students to track their progress. So, following your student’s progress as a teacher gives you the chance to motivate your student by showing them how far they have improved or regressed. You can see if your students are improving and devise your lesson plan to best suit them.
Another thing to bear in mind constantly as a teacher is that you need to occasionally give feedback to your students. Be it positive or negative feedback, it is a must. A student will only grow and become motivated if he knows what he is doing right or what he is doing wrong. Make sure that you properly praise your students for a good job and criticize them if they perform their tasks poorly. Providing accurate feedback will give them a chance to improve in the future.
9. Encourage group activities and give your students a sense of control
Group activities will improve your students’ socializing skills, strengthen their team spirit, encourage them to motivate each other, and provide them with an excellent platform to work together. So, teachers need to promote group activities in your class frequently.
It would be best to give your students a sense of control to keep them motivated. For example, you can allow them to have simple choices on their assignment topics, projects, and what to learn in the class occasionally. It can motivate the students to do tasks confidently and passionately.
10. Manage your student’s anxiety and their sense of depression
Many students are prone to anxiety, and the fear of not doing well can cause them to make mistakes that can potentially be dangerous in the future. So, as a teacher, you must offer support to your students and make sure that your students are not overwhelmed with expectations that they cannot take a step forward.
Another thing to note is that many students can become frustrated and depressed when they do not get recognition or instantly see the fruit of their labor. In these cases, make sure your students feel valued and patiently explain how hard work never betrays. It will mean a lot and encourage some self-motivation within your students.
Self-motivation is a crucial factor in a student’s success. As teachers are the ones who shape a student’s future, they behold this great responsibility to encourage self-motivation among students. However, parents also play a significant role in keeping their children motivated.
Encouraging self-motivation is not as easy as it seems, as it will be difficult to tap into the emotions and mentality of the students. So, we hope that through this article, you have understood just how you can encourage self-motivation among your students.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com