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Student Motivation: The Road to Success

Student motivation and student engagement are the secrets to successful learning. Students who are motivated by and engaged in their own learning adapt better to a classroom environment and perform considerably higher academically than their unmotivated peers. What is student motivation? Student motivation is the learner’s desire to actively participate in the learning process in order to realize their academic potential. Students can be either internally motivated (performing school tasks because of the enjoyment they derive from them) or externally motivated (performing tasks to obtain a reward, such as approval or good grades). Factors affecting student motivation Student motivation can be affected by several factors. Some of these include: PARENT INVOLVEMENT: Students are more motivated when parents show interest in their learning material and actively listen and inquire about their day. TEACHER ENTHUSIASM: A teacher’s enthusiasm in the classroom leads students to experience greater interest in and enjoyment of the material, enhancing their motivation. TEACHING METHODS: Students are more likely to feel motivated when educators use a variety of creative teaching methods. The importance of student motivation for students Motivation is particularly important for students because: it correlates with academic success; it has a direct impact on how we learn and leads to lasting learning; it promotes drive and determination. Student laziness Student laziness can often be a manifestation of boredom or hide other reasons behind it. Research has found that the laziest students are often some of the most cognitively gifted. It is a teacher’s role to try and find the reason behind a student’s laziness and to encourage motivated and active learning. What is a lazy student? While a “lazy student” could vaguely be defined as one who refuses to do the work to fulfill their potential and maximize their capability, it is important for teachers to evaluate kids thoroughly before labeling them as such. It is widely argued that what is actually behind laziness is anxiety, boredom or distraction. When teachers are confronted with what may look like laziness, like a late assignment or avoidance, a simple motivational speech for students will not do. They should examine the situational factors holding students back rather than labeling them as “lazy”. Studying techniques for “lazy students” Students who are bored at school and appear to be lazy often use a variety of techniques to help them study, such as: Studying little and often vs. in one go Using helpful apps that break down the material and make it easy to understand Watching videos on the material to help them remember it Studying with a friend in order to go through the material in-depth Causes of students’ laziness There are many reasons for the so-called students’ laziness. Some of these include: FATIQUE: mental activity requires energy and when we are exhausted, our mind can’t work effectively. POOR LIFESTYLE CHOICES: for example, staying up late and consuming junk food, which makes us lethargic. DISTRACTION: for example, spending too much time on social media. LACK OF SELF-WORTH: when people do not believe in themselves, they lack the drive to achieve goals. The teacher’s role in student motivation Teacher’s personality While a teacher’s job is to transmit academic knowledge to their students, their personality can make or break how effective they are. The emotional involvement, enthusiasm, openness, and creativity of the teacher are just as important as their in-depth knowledge of the curriculum. The importance of teacher enthusiasm Enthusiasm is one of the most essential characteristics of effective teachers. Teachers who have a positive attitude and show passion and excitement in their teaching tend to be very successful in engaging students and stimulating responses from them. Research shows that high levels of teacher enthusiasm have a positive impact on learning, making students more willing to contribute in class and even remain disciplined. Sharing common interests with your students Sharing common interests with the students helps to create a bond with them. Studies show that when people share commonalities, their relationships improve. It is, therefore, wise for teachers to reveal some details about themselves to students, in order to relate to them and find out what they may have in common. Common interests could include sports, the outdoors, a love for animals or pop culture. How to motivate unmotivated students and help them study A teacher can help students stop feeling lazy while studying using a variety of different methods. First of all, teachers should try to discover the reason why students are procrastinating and feeling lazy. They should then focus on finding the best learning method for the students and encourage different styles of learning. Breaking down the material into reasonable chunks and helping students to understand the topic vs. just memorizing it will also help students to study, as will linking the material to real-world connections and encouraging short-term milestones. Setting goals Setting goals is fundamental to the academic success of students and can help them develop critical thinking skills, which will serve them all throughout life. Discussing goals with students Settings goals and targets is key for improving academic performance. Teachers can be very valuable in helping students set goals to achieve their full potential, as they know what each student’s strengths and weaknesses are and will be there to track their performance. A comprehensive discussion between teachers and students about their learning objectives and the steps necessary to achieve them will help students take ownership of their learning and foster positive growth. Examples of personal learning goals Here are some examples of personal learning goals: Improving reading skills (by reading one chapter of a book per day, for example) Better grade at a certain subject (for example, going from C to B over a semester in Biology) Developing good conversational skills in a foreign language (e.g. by incorporation of chat in the language into lessons) Improving essay-writing skills (for instance, by assigning short story writing tasks) Improving test-taking skills (e.g. practicing better transition times from task to task in the classroom) The significance of breaking large goals into small tasks When a goal is too large, we can end up feeling discouraged, dejected or overwhelmed. Focusing on short-term educational achievements is a solution to this problem. Proper goal setting breaks intimidating aspirations into achievable milestones and leads to better results and greater levels of contentment and learning motivation. Motivating students using a vision board Vision boards are collages of inspirational images, quotes, and visuals that serve to motivate people to pursue their goals. They can be very effective when applied to education as they can be revisited daily by students and help them to visualize their academic goals, making them seem measurable and attainable while providing clarity and focus. Student engagement Educators are cluing onto the fact that student engagement plays an important role in learning and are investing more and more thought and time into their student engagement strategies that will encourage them to participate in class and boost progress and achievement. What is engagement in the classroom? Student engagement refers to the degree of attention, participation, and interest shown by students during a lesson in the classroom. Engaged students will normally listen, take notes and ask questions, demonstrating that they are invested in learning. More specifically, there are three different types of student engagement: EMOTIONAL (how students feel about their education experience) BEHAVIORAL (how attentive and active students are in class) COGNITIVE (how intrinsically motivated and invested students are in the learning process) Student engagement’s impact on learning Student engagement results in higher educational achievement and can help students learn better by remembering more about lessons. Furthermore, a study in the British Educational Research Journal suggests that there is a connection between engagement in school and overall achievement several years later. Making a boring class fun An interesting class encourages student engagement, which is why educators are always looking for fun, new ways to deliver their lessons. Some suggestions for making a boring class fun include the following: Creating classroom games (for example, spelling bees for an English lesson) Using technology (for example, to connect to a classroom in another country during a foreign language lesson) Relating material to real-life situations (for example, by giving students example tax calculation-related examples in Math class) Inviting a guest speaker on a class topic (for example, someone who has lived through a historic event in History class) Student competition When prompted appropriately, competition in the classroom can be a very effective tool for discouraging complacency and maximizing student engagement, pushing them to excel. Prompting competition among students There is a lot of debate surrounding the topic of whether prompting student competition is good for them. While it can be argued that competition at school builds character, develops drive and will help prepare kids for future life as adults in a competitive world, it can also lead to feelings of envy among students and diminished self-esteem. Educators should try to create a co-operative rather than a competitive environment, aiming for “healthy competition”. The healthy competition requires teamwork and positive participation, building classroom community skills in the process, and does not focus on winning. The advantages and disadvantages of students competing with their peers There are both advantages and disadvantages to students competing with their peers in the classroom: Disadvantages of competition: It puts the learning process at risk by prioritizing winning, making the concepts of knowledge and understanding the subject less important to the outcome. It affects student relationships, potentially resulting in feelings of hostility and resentment among them. It creates performance pressure, which can be very stressful for some kids. Advantages of competition: It makes lessons fun and exciting, encouraging student participation. It helps to develop a sense of drive and purpose in children, making them better positioned for when they find themselves in competitive environments in the future. It encourages student communication and friendships. The advantages and disadvantages of students competing with themselves Some students can take the competition a step further and start to compete with themselves, always trying to improve their previous achievements. This type of ‘perfectionism’ can have both advantages and disadvantages, which are discussed below: Advantages of self-competition: It encourages motivation, determination, and persistence. It results in better grades. It discourages procrastination. Disadvantages of self-competition: It carries the risk of stretching oneself too thin. It causes anxiety over small mistakes. Rewards Motivating students with rewards Motivating students can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching, which is why a lot of teachers turn to rewards in order to stimulate learning and motivate good behavior. While rewarding systems are generally considered acceptable in education, there is some debate as to whether they should be used or not. The benefits of rewards, according to proponents of using them in the classroom, include increased motivation, boosted self-esteem and a feeling of pride and achievement which often brings improved results. On the other hand, it is argued that rewarding leads to entitled attitudes and decreased effort for tasks not involving rewards. Effective educators should use rewards cautiously and steer clear of material motivators. Some great non-material and creative ways to reward students include: Extra or longer recess time when a class has demonstrated good behavior A field trip (even if it is a neighborhood walk to learn the area’s history) Board Games Movie day Self-rewarding Self-rewarding is vital for boosting one’s mood. When a behavior is followed by a pleasant outcome, we are more likely to repeat it, which is called positive reinforcement. Therefore, it is important that after a long study session or achieving desired results, students take some time to appreciate their efforts and reward themselves. Some common ways of self-rewarding are: A Netflix break to watch an episode of a favorite show A day off studying to spend with friends outdoors Catching up on social media The problem with parents paying students for good grades Many parents pay their children for good grades as a way to increase students’ drive and motivation. However, there are many reasons why experts advise strongly against doing so. Paying for good student performance at school teaches kids that learning is not valuable in and of itself since the ultimate goal is money. Working hard in school should be the norm and not an exception, so paying for grades is highly likely to create entitled attitudes that will follow them onto their adult lives. Help your students find their road to success! Student motivation is the key to realizing one’s full academic potential. Teachers must concentrate their efforts on creating engaging learning environments for their students and work alongside them to encourage them to reach their goals. While classroom competition and reward systems are popular ways to motivate students, teachers should think outside the box when it comes to choosing their motivating strategies. As Eurekly is a large community of learners passionate about improving their academic skills, you should have no trouble finding a truly motivated student on ourRead more

21 Questions About Classroom Discipline That Bother Every Teacher

Classroom discipline is very important for effective teaching and learning, yet it constitutes one of the biggest teacher challenges nowadays. Before teaching a new class, teachers should work intensively on their classroom management strategies for achieving school discipline. Read on to learn everything you need to know about keeping your classroom in order! 1. What is discipline in the classroom? To define discipline, one must refer to the strategies a teacher uses to manage student behaviors during lessons, as well as the code of behavior that the students must comply with. This code of behavior usually includes rules of attendance, dress code, social behavior, and work ethic. The term may also be applied to the punishment that is the consequence of the transgression of the code of behavior. 2. What are the 3 types of discipline? The three types of discipline are preventative, supportive and corrective discipline. PREVENTATIVE discipline is about establishing expectations, guidelines and classroom rules for behavior during the first days of lessons in order to proactively prevent disruptions. SUPPORTIVE discipline, on the other hand, occurs in the case of a transgression. It is usually a verbal warning or a suggestion for the correction of behavior. CORRECTIVE discipline comes into play when a student has failed to change his or her behavior after repeated attempts at supportive discipline. It mostly refers to the consequences delivered following an infraction. 3. What is the importance of discipline in schools? Discipline in school life is extremely important, as it sets the foundations for students’ success later in life. Discipline is a transferrable skill in life and it can bring on many virtues, such as professional success through being focused and staying healthy. Discipline is what helps students achieve good performance in school and it is responsible for keeping order in the classroom. 4. How does poor classroom management affect learning? Poor classroom management affects students’ motivation, which inevitably negatively impacts their academic performance. Teachers who fail to manage a classroom effectively by not setting rules and routines and doing inadequate preparation create learning environments that are chaotic and counterproductive for learning. Discipline problems Even the most experienced teachers have to face classroom discipline problems. Unruly students’ behavior means that instructional time is lost and students get off task. It is a teacher’s job to figure out why a discipline problem occurs and how to best solve it in a well-managed learning environment. 5. What causes discipline problems in the classroom? There are many reasons that cause discipline problems in the classroom. Handling discipline problems requires sensitivity and insight on part of the teacher, in order to understand the root of the issue. Some common causes of discipline issues in the classroom include problems at home (e.g. if a student is experiencing an emotionally turbulent time at home) and learning disabilities, like ADD, which can cause a lack of focus. Discipline problems in the classroom are also more likely to arise if there is a lack of clear communication about the rules and consequences for breaking them. 6. What are some disruptive behaviors in the classroom? Some common disruptive behaviors in the classroom include: talking in class, late arrivals or early departures, persistent use of electronic devices, eating, drinking or sleeping in class and, more seriously, threats of violence and physical and verbal aggression. 7. What are the major and minor disruptive behaviors? There are two categories of disruptive behaviors in the class: minor and major. MINOR disruptions include unintended hurtful words, not working on tasks, lateness, and use of electronic devices. While they require a warning from the teacher, they can be easily ignored and do not seriously disrupt teaching or learning. MAJOR disruptions, on the other hand, go beyond rudeness and include profane language directed towards others, sexual words and innuendo, physical threats, vandalism, and stealing. 8. How do disruptive students affect the classroom? Disruptive behavior by students interferes with the teacher’s ability to effectively deliver a lesson, as it requires a large amount of the teacher’s time and attention in order to be addressed. Disruptive students can also influence their peers with their actions and encourage them to behave similarly, compromising the teacher’s authority. 9. How does students’ behavior affect learning? According to research conducted by the United Federation of Teachers, exposure to even mild classroom disruptions lowers the academic achievement for all students in a class. Constant interruptions can interfere with focus and detract from learning. Handling disruptive behaviors There are many different types of disruptive behaviors that can prevent effective teaching and learning and, so, it is vital that teachers work on perfecting their practices for managing them. Teachers should create classroom behavioral expectations from the first day of class by outlining both productive and disruptive types of behavior, the process by which disruptive behavior will be addressed and the consequences for ongoing disruptive behavior. 10. How do you calm a noisy classroom? A noisy classroom is a very common occurrence that can be disruptive to the teaching and learning processes, whether it is caused by students raucously returning to class from their breaks or classmates gossiping together during lessons. The best way to ensure a quiet classroom is by cultivating a peaceful atmosphere and establishing respect for the teacher from the get-go. You must set the tone and expectations on your first day, making students understand the classroom is a place for learning and not socializing. To quieten chatter in a class, resist raising your voice, which only works to encourage more noise. Help students familiarize themselves with your non-verbal cues for quietening down the class, which include hand signals, counting down backward from 5 until silence is achieved or clapping. 11. What to do if a student is disruptive in class? Disruptive students can be a big distraction in class. Even when teachers clearly set boundaries for behavior, disruptions may occasionally take place. Teachers should be careful to assess each incident individually and respond appropriately, as causes for disruptive behavior can vary. In all cases, teachers must remain calm and firm when addressing disruptive students, explaining to them what it is that they are doing wrong, why it is a problem and what the proper behavior is. It is important to listen to what students have to say and make them feel understood. 12. How do you discipline a student without yelling? Can teachers yell at students? Even though teachers are allowed to yell at students in order to discipline them, it is not advisable as it sets a poor model. Yelling is a sign of loss of control that can be counterproductive, driving a wedge between a teacher and his or her students and provoking fear. There are plenty of methods that do not involve yelling that a teacher can use to maintain order and control in their classroom. Establishing routines with students from the beginning of the year is particularly vital to maintaining good discipline, while a variety of classroom management techniques (such as countdowns and revoking privileges) can help you gain control of unruly students. 13. How do you handle an argumentative student? Argumentative students who disrupt the class can be difficult to handle. If you are wondering how to discipline an argumentative student, the answer is to try to understand the motives for their behavior and allow them to be heard without losing your temper. This will help you get to the root of the problem. While confronting the student, you must show them that you have control over the situation by being firm and outlining the consequences of their actions. Speak with the student privately and create a behavior management plan for them to deal with possible anger management issues. 14. How do you respond to a disrespectful student? When confronted with disrespect, an easy mistake to make is to take it personally. Disrespect can be an indication of complex psychological issues that a student is facing. Resist the urge to admonish, scold or lecture the disrespectful student and respond with kindness instead, modeling the type of behavior the student should ideally be exhibiting. Turn the incident into a memorable lesson for the student by delivering consequences, but ensure to do this privately, rather than shaming them in front of their peers. For overt disrespect, students’ parents should be notified by letter, an act which adds a layer of seriousness and accountability. 15. How do you deal with disturbing students? It is very important that teachers talk to the parents of disturbing students who are constantly making trouble. Empathize with the student and try to get to the bottom of their behavior, while staying in close proximity with their family to monitor progress. Discuss the behavior with your colleagues, in order to develop a common and consistent approach for dealing with the student. Above all, while dealing with a disturbing student, you should remember that it takes time for problematic behavior to change so stay patient and positive. 16. How do you deal with aggressive students in the classroom? Aggressive students often antagonize others and are drawn to physical fights or verbal arguments. Aggression constitutes severe misbehavior and should, therefore, be dealt with accordingly, with stiff consequences that send a clear message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. If you are breaking up a fight between students, you must remain assertive and speak in a firm, no-nonsense manner. If necessary, you could consider giving the aggressive student a time-out, separating them from the rest of the class. 17. How do you handle a conflict between students and teachers? The student-teacher relationship can be complicated and it is not unusual for students to end up in conflict with their teachers. Some conflicts are healthy and arise naturally through debates due to competing ideas on various issues. However, if the conflict persists and appears to be antagonistic in nature, you should address this directly with your students. Listen to them to get their perspectives and carefully explain your position on the conflict in a way they understand. Teachers can seize this opportunity to teach their students the rules of civic discourse and effective self-expression. When you have tried everything to no avail, try getting assistance from a colleague, the principal or administration. Student punishment Before proceeding with student punishment, teachers should think carefully and understand its pros and cons. While punishing students can quickly stop a problem, it tends to be a short-term solution that can often be accompanied by negative side-effects, such as a drop in positive attitudes toward school and a more negative perception of teachers. 18. Should teachers punish students? Punishment is defined as inflicting a penalty as retribution for a transgression. According to that definition, since students often commit transgressions, it would make sense to punish them for bad behavior. However, teachers must refrain from applying such a “black and white” approach to dealing with unruly behavior and use critical thinking instead to determine whether punishment is necessary. Teachers should always consider alternative options for dealing with bad behavior, before proceeding with punishment. 19. Which forms of student punishment are acceptable? In most of the Western world, acceptable forms of punishment include but are not limited to demerit systems, daily report or behavior contracts, apologies, time-out, detentions, being made to write essays and being made to pick up litter around the school. 20. Which forms of student punishment are unacceptable? Why? A study conducted by Unicef identified over 43 types of punishment that were being given to students at schools around the world a decade ago, including physical punishment (e.g. smacking) and psychological punishment (e.g. verbal abuse and isolation). Punishment in schools differs widely from country to country. For example, while Sweden has made corporal punishment illegal, it remains popular in Nigeria. In the majority of Western countries, any type of physical punishment is unacceptable as it is illegal and constitutes criminal assault. While some schools use physical exercise as a form of punishment (i.e. press-ups, sit-ups, running) and it is not illegal, it is not considered acceptable as it is cruel and can be degrading for students. 21. Is it acceptable to punish everyone in the class for one person’s mistake? Collective punishment is the term used to describe the situation when a group of students, for example, a whole class or a whole grade, is punished for the actions of one or a few students. Examples of collective punishment include being taken off recess early or the class being banned from using a certain recreation area. Most schools do not allow collective punishment, as it is known to demotivate well-behaved students and is unlikely to improve the offender’s behavior according to a 2019 study. Patience is a virtue Knowing how to maintain student discipline in a classroom can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. Teachers must learn to evaluate situations on their individual merits in order to know how to respond, distinguishing between minor and major disruptive behaviors and delivering the appropriate consequences and punishments where necessary, always according to school policies. In case of severe problems with classroom management and students that are unresponsive to corrections, teachers should reach out to colleagues for support and involve administration and the student’s family whenRead more

Making Money as an Online Math Tutor: Your Ultimate Guide

Online education is a multimillion-dollar industry that is rapidly expanding. Growing demand for online lessons has led to the increasing availability of opportunities to make money as an online tutor, even for individuals who do not have education degrees. Read on to find out how you can make money by math tutoring online and profit from this lucrative industryRead more

FREE Cheat Sheets for Learners of Spanish as a Foreign Language

Dear learners of Spanish as a foreign language! Eurekly’s experienced Spanish tutors have created this section to help you learn this beautiful language. Grammar rules easily explained and illustrated with typical examples will be posted regularly here. Follow the Eurekly blog to get our new materials on Spanish grammar as soon as they get published! And don’t forget to download your bonus PDF files! Do you have questions concerning Spanish grammar? Find an online Spanish tutorRead more

16 Ways to Express Gratitude in Greek

Greek is one of the oldest European languages. Being the language of many foundational texts in science and philosophy, it holds a very important place in the history of Western civilization. However, while a lot of research has been dedicated to studying the history of this rich language, some confusion about its age and development over time persist. Is it really the oldest language in the world? Is modern Greek the same as the ancient language? What is its connection to Latin? In this article, you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about Greek. And then you’ll learn about the best ways of saying ‘thank you’ in the GreekRead more

20 inspirational quotes about teaching

Dear teachers and teachers-to-be! Let these wonderful quotes bring you some inspiration for your work! Your colleagues from the Eurekly team wish you to enjoy your work with your learners and to gain incredible success in your career! Dear learners! We hope that these wise sayings will help you understand that your teachers’ work is beyond price. Love your teachers, respect them, be thankful to them and remember them all your lifeRead more

FREE Cheat Sheets for Learners of German as a Foreign Language

Dear learners of German as a foreign language! Eurekly’s first-rate German tutors have started this section to help you master this wonderful and difficult language. Grammar rules easily explained and illustrated with typical examples will be posted regularly here. Follow the Eurekly blog to get our new materials on German grammar as soon as they get published! And don’t forget to download your bonus PDF files! Do you have further questions concerning German grammar? Find an online German tutorRead more

FREE Cheat Sheets for Learners of Russian as a Foreign Language

Dear learners of Russian as a foreign language! Eurekly’s best Russian tutors have created this column to help you learn this beautiful and complicated language. Grammar rules easily explained and illustrated with typical examples will be posted regularly here. Follow the Eurekly blog to get our new materials as soon as they get published! And don’t forget to download your bonus PDF files! Do you have further questions concerning Russian grammar? Find an online Russian tutorRead more

11 Reasons Why Learning German Is Easy for English Speakers + Lifehacks & FREE Cheat Sheets!

The German language has a worldwide reputation for being extremely difficult to learn. However, there are thousands of German learners all over the globe who have somehow managed to master this incredibly complicated language – maybe, because they didn’t let others mislead them and didn’t believe all the mysterious myths surrounding German? Though German does have some tricky grammar aspects (and what language hasn’t?), it also has many simple rules that you can remember in a minute! Let’s have a look at what’s easy about German grammar. Discover the topics that are the easiest to master and get inspired to learn this wonderful and astonishingly logical language! Remember to download our FREE cheat sheets – just click the links at the end of theRead more

9 Valuable Skills One Can Learn Online

If you understand the modern-day tendencies and accumulate the right skills, the world will truly be your oyster. At the same time, choosing one’s path is a difficult task and sometimes every single one of us will make mistakes and lose precious time trying this and that and doing things leading to… actually nowhere. But here is the good news. We live in the golden age of technology, which allows us to acquire new knowledge and skills easily and quickly as never before. Now, when the digital wave is sweeping the world, anyone with Internet access can learn practicallyRead more

Bring your own students

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