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Alexandria Anderson Summative Task September 23, 2019 The Importance of Motivating Students In any classroom, in order for students to successfully learn to the best of their abilities, they must be motivated to do so. If a student is not motivated to learn, they will not actively engage with the lesson, they will not focus on the information presented, and they will not retain the new material. This is why motivation is so essential for each student’s learning experience. A large part of achieving student motivation comes from the teacher inspiring this motivation. Motivation is defined as the desire to act or move towards a goal. Everyone has motivations for the actions or choices they make in daily life. For example, I am motivated to get out of bed and go to work everyday because it helps me make money that pays my bills. In order to motivate students it is important that they understand the end goal that they are working towards. In a language class, for example, the end goal may be that the student can speak enough English to enjoy a trip to America. Keeping this end goal in mind is a great way for students to stay motivated and remember why they are learning the material in the first place. It can often be mundane to practice grammar and foreign vocabulary if you don’t have a reason for doing so. Setting a goal and keeping it in mind can help students stay motivated throughout the duration of a course. As a second grade teacher, I find many ways to motivate my students. Sometimes I motivate them by providing incentives. For example, if my students learn all their spelling words each week, they receive a prize. This small reward encourages them to study and practice their words for the benefit of earning something by doing so. This kind of motivation is aimed towards younger learners, as it is often hard for them to understand the larger goal of working towards achieving an education in order to get a job someday. Sometimes just knowing they are working towards a sticker or a small piece of candy is enough motivation to get them engaged. Another way I motivate my students is by positive reinforcement. When they accomplish a task or successfully master a new skill, I reward them with verbal praise. Children (and people of all ages for that matter) feel good about themselves when someone tells them they are doing a great job. This motivates the students to continue to work hard to earn more praise. If a student feels confident about themselves when they are working hard and doing a good job, they will most likely continue these behaviors to increase this confidence. There are many other ways to motivate learners of all ages. Older learners are more likely to be self motivated because they have reasons for taking classes and they understand how their learning experience will help them achieve their goals. However, even with self motivated students it is still important for teachers to help encourage this motivation. Without motivation, there is no reason for a student to try in class. A good teacher inspires students to do their best and try their hardest. A good teacher also encourages their student’s goals and helps them maintain the motivation required to reach their goals. This is the kind of teacher I strive to be.