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7 things to say to your student to motivate him

As a teacher, the leader of your class, you can still find ways to motivate even the most unmotivated students. Here are seven things to say to a student to motivate him to take charge of his own education.
EdChron Desk on August 6, 2014 - 1:33 pm in Africa, Asia, Australia & NZ, Opinions, The Good Stuff, U.K., U.S., World

 

Getting an unmotivated student to participate can be nearly impossible, and it can be extremely discouraging when you feel that you are putting more effort into his education than he is. Even very intelligent kids can be extremely unmotivated, especially in today’s society, when it is somehow “uncool” to care about things, especially about school. As a teacher, the leader of your class, you can still find ways to motivate even the most unmotivated students. Here are seven things to say to a student to motivate him to take charge of his own education.

 

  1. “Let’s work on this together.” Sometimes, a lack of motivation is really a manifestation of miscomprehension. Instead of putting her on the spot in front of the entire class and forcing her to figure something out that she just doesn’t understand (something that may work well for some students, but breeds embarrassment and mistrust in others), offer a helping hand on the side.

 

  1. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Kids, especially those that fancy themselves independent, have a hard time asking for help when they need it, so the work just doesn’t get done. Let him know that you’re there to help, not to judge.

 

  1. “You did really well today.” Encouragement is incredibly important to all students, but even more so for those that just aren’t motivated. Giving specific and truthful praise can help him want to do better.

 

  1. “Math is fun!” Or, insert whatever subject you are currently working on. Students are more likely to participate and attempt to learn when they sense (and flat out know) that their teacher likes the subject they teach.

 

  1. “Is anything wrong?” Showing genuine concern for a student can help to build a relationship of trust and respect, on that will make the student want to work for you.

 

  1. “Once you’re done with this assignment, can you help your group?” Some students need a social impetus in order to perform, and providing an opportunity for them to shine as a leader or teacher in their own right is a great way to motivate these students.

 

  1. “It’s alright to make mistakes.” Because, first, it really is alright to make mistakes, and second, the fear of making mistakes can be paralyzing for many students. They become unmotivated because they are afraid of failure—so let them know that it’s okay to make to a few mistakes.

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