Motivation in the Classroom The teacher understands how motivation


The teacher understands how motivation affects group and individual behavior and learning and can apply this understanding to promote student learning. Students often say that they like teachers who can motivate them when, in fact, teachers are not the sole reason for students' motivation. Motivation is a student's responsibility; motivation comes from within the student. However, effective teachers will help students develop self-management can be taught, yet they require a great deal of effort and practice in order for students to gain true proficiency.

When students say that they like or want teachers who motivate them, they are probably referring to some characteristics that teachers possess that are attractive and interesting to them. It is also true that teachers can influence motivation that teachers can promote and or inhibit motivation in the classroom by their attitudes and their actions.

One researcher, M.B. Bater-Magolda, has offered three guiding principles that will lead to greater teaching effectiveness in the classroom. Interestingly, each of these principles leads to empowering students and, thus, is motivational in nature.

The first principle is to validate the students as knowers. This principle is based on the idea of the active learner who brings much to the classroom. How can teachers validate students' Baxter- Magolda suggests that teachers display a caring attitude toward students. This means that it is appropriate for teachers to take an interest in students, and to learn about their likes, dislikes, interests, and hobbies, both in school and outside school. This also means that it's acceptable for teachers to show enthusiasm and excitement for their classes, not only for the subject-matter they teach, but for the students they teach as well. It also means, as Carol Tavris noted, that it is good for teachers to show empathy for students' emotional needs.

Baxter-Magolda also recommends that teachers question authority by example and let students know that they, as teachers, can also be questioned. This means that teachers model critical thinking skills in the classroom. Teachers can question authority when they examine and evaluate readings-weather from textbooks or other sources. Teachers can question authority when they teach propaganda techniques, exposing advertising claims and gimmicks. Teachers can question authority when they discuss the media and how so-called news sources shape and form public opinion. There are numerous opportunities for teachers to integrate current affairs and public opinion into the curriculum, and to inculcate their students with both critical thinking and higher-ordered reasoning skills.

Also, when teachers allow students to question them, teachers are acknowledging that everyone is a learner. Everyone should participate in a lifelong process of continuous learning. It is no shame or disgrace for the teacher to admit that sometimes he or she doesn't know the answer to every question. This gives the teacher the opportunity to show students how adults think, how they have a level of awareness when they don't know something, and how they go about finding answers to their questions. Teachers who admit that they don't have all the answers have the opportunity to show students how answers can be found and or can reveal to students that there are no easy answers to some of life's most difficult question.

Third, to validate students as knowers, teachers can value students' opinions, ideas, and comments. Teacher's affirmations include smiles and nods of approval, positive comments, and encouraging cues. Validating students as knowers also means supporting students' voices that is, giving them ample opportunities to express their own ideas, to share their opinions, and to make their own contributions to the classroom. These opportunities can include times of oral discussion as well as written assignments.

With these three guiding principles a teacher can better motivate their student's behavior, understanding and promote learning in the classroom. As a teacher you must get involved in your students life, understanding them in and out of the classroom. Show students that nobody has all the answers and yes, even you don't know everything. Students are very smart and the will quickly realize when the teacher has no clue. Just be honest. Finally a teacher must constantly encourage their students with physical affirmations such as nods and smiles, to verbal affirmations such as 'Good answer!' With theses three points a teacher can better motivate their students in the classroom.