Given how long each student is in school, from the years of dedication and hours sat in seats each day, it can be hard to stay motivated. As a teacher, it is your job to foster a productive learning environment. Here are seven ways to help your students develop an attitude about learning:
1. Keep Track of How Your Students Want to Learn
As a teacher, it can be easier to focus on where your students need to be and the best way you can see as to how to get there. This type of planning can leave the tastes of your students behind. If you want your students to be energetic learners, create a dialogue between yourself and your students to keep track of how they would like to learn. What techniques work for them? Are they visual learners? Auditory? Physical? Learn this so you can adjust your lesson plan to cater to what works for your students.
2. Focus More on Conversation Than Busy Work
A lot of the hiccups that come along with students learning (and their apathy) has to do with the delivery method of the material. Most of the time, the teacher will sit at the front of the room and lecture for forty-five minutes, hoping the information will sink in so each student can complete their homework. This is a faulty method of teaching, as students have a passive role in their learning. If you make class timeless like a lecture and more like a conversation, where students can figure out the material by talking through it together, learning will be much more productive.
3. Provide Rewards When the Class is All Successful
Another big problem with the way teaching is structure nowadays is that students sit there and get taught what they are told they need to know with very little reward in the equation. Ultimately, doing an excellent job on a test does not have much value outside of the classroom. Students would be much more willing to put in an extra effort if they were promised a reward at the end of the journey. This is a bit of a cynical way to try to get students to want to learn but providing a reward after the whole class completes a homework assignment or gets an A on a quiz would make students more of a willing participant in their learning. The reward has to be good, though, or students will see right through it.
4. Reinforce What Learning Will Give Your Students
On the same topic of students not understanding why they should care about the material they are learning, make sure you consistently reiterate why they are learning what they are learning. The most common question that pops up in classrooms is, “How am I going to use this in my life?” Although you may not have a terribly thoughtful response, you need to provide some sort of motivation, so they have a reason for learning. Whether it has to do with a type of career that the information will help you in, how the information can help you with everyday activities, or how learning the information will give you a greater understanding of the world around you, just provide some sort of explanation to the meaning of the material.
5. Allow for More Than One Way to Complete an Assignment
The rigid way in which students have been allowed to complete assignments have held back learning for decades. Not everybody is going to be productive in the same way. So, to avoid this problem, I would provide options for your students as to how they do the homework or what homework assignment they complete. For example, you could provide three worksheets for homework: one is just written problems, another has essay questions, and the final one has visual problem. Each student has to complete one of these. This would give your students the feeling like they are guiding their own learning and engaging in a way that works for them.
6. Introduce More Activities and Creative Projects into the Curriculum
I have thrown the term engagement around a lot in this article, as that has a lot to do with students’ willingness to learn. The level of engagement they have with the material directly affects how excited they are to learn. Participation can fluctuate based on the way they learn the stuff. I feel as if students would be more engaged if they were to have to come at the material from a physical and creative perspective. So, I would suggest using activities and creative projects to teach the article, as the students will learn the material as they engage with it.
7. Teach at a Pace That Comforts Your Students
When students struggling to learn a topic, a lot of the time it has to do with the pace at which it is being taught. If the teacher moves to fast, the student is not going to be able to grasp it. So, if you want your students to want to learn, you need to take the temperature of the room and adjust the pace to ensure everybody in the class can grasp the material without needing outside help or spending time at home to go over the topic over and over.