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Motivation in the Classroom Standing in front of a class with
Standing in front of a class with thirty eyes staring relentlessly up at what seems to be a solid, grounded teacher. The teacher smiles charmingly and starts the day while thoughts wander in her head about how she will keep the students motivated and interested. Motivation is a key factor in teaching.
Motivation is what enables people to 'get things done'. Motivating students can often be a tough task as it is a goal that needs to be set by the student. As Doctor And Psychologist Nathan Brandon says 'A goal without an action plan is a daydream' In psychology, /wiki/PsychologyMotivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behavior (Geen, 1995). The Wikipedia Encyclopedia refers to motivation by stating that'Motivation is having the desire and willingness to do something.' Motivation in a classroom can make a sizeable difference on how the students are learning and even change their behaviour toward the subjects. There are many different ways that a teacher can help to motivate the students. In my experience I believe that the most common way to motivate students in North America is through reinforcement. People are conditioned to be influenced by factors that seem appealing to them. Positive reinforcement is defined as 'the occurrence of the behaviour is followed by the addition of a stimulus or an increase in the intensity of a stimulus, which results in the strengthening of the behaviour' (Miltenberger. G, Raymond, Behaviour Modification, 3rd Edition, 2004) Through positive reinforcement students will be able to look forward to a positive conclusion. For example if a student works hard on their homework they will receive praise from the teacher, where as if they did not they could be scolded by the teacher. The praise from the teacher acts as a positive reinforcer.
As a teacher we need to be able to 'create a vision and live into the vision as if it is already there'(Anthony Robbins, 100 Ways to Motivation). When teaching a foreign language it is not uncommon for the students to be nervous or self-conscious, especially when they are speaking aloud. As Steve Chandler has written ' don't be embarrassed, give it your all, have no fear', 'Enthusiasm is contagious.' Both of these statements are very well said. Students need to be encouraged to not feel bad if they are not pronouncing the words correctly or do not understand. One of the first steps in motivating your students is making them feel comfortable and letting them know that it is alright to be wrong sometimes. When you create a safe environment then they are able to be themselves and 'give it there all'.
There are many ways in which a teacher can motivate his/her students. Anthony Robbins said it best 'Have fun, when we have fun our brain gives off new surges of energy'.Games in the classroom are an ample reinforcer as they do just what Anthony Robbins has suggested, make the classroom fun. When we are unable to have a group activity and it is time to Study motivation can come from Respect that you are bestowing upon the students. When we establish a rapport we are subconsciously motivating our students to do their best while we support them.
All of the above examples are leading factors in motivation. Positive energy, enthusiasm and attitude play a huge role in any classroom, whether it is a young learner or an adult learner. Motivation is key in a well rounded, enjoyable class.
-100 ways to motivation, Dr/Psychologist Nathan Brandon
-Wikipedia Encyclopedia (Geen, 1995)
-Miltenberger. G, Raymond, Behaviour Modification, 3rd Edition, 2004
-100 ways to motivation, Anthony Robbins
-100 ways to motivation, Steve Chandler