Teaching is a responsible profession, where you act as a candelabrum for your students and guide them on the path of learning. Your sense of responsibility fuels your enthusiasm to teach your students in the best manner. So, every morning you enter your classroom enthusiastically, ready to serve your students.
But, many times, your enthusiasm can wither away within moments as you find your students not showing the desired interest in learning, despite your best efforts to teach them well. You feel disheartened when you watch them engaging in mischief, lacking attention and creating noise even when you are teaching.
Under such circumstances, you often engage in self-doubt and start thinking that you lack appropriate teaching calibre. However, this is not true! In almost every school and every classroom, teachers face similar problems from their students. So, cheer up, you are a great teacher, and deep inside your heart, you know that too!
Now, you may wonder, if it is so, why aren’t your students enthusiastic about learning? To put the answer in simple words, most likely your students lack the motivation to learn.
According to a scientific study, most students are not motivated to learn; they are attending classes just for the sake of attaining the certification. This lack of motivation in students is the root cause of the problems you face while teaching.
Here, in this blog, we are going to explore how to treat the lack of study motivation in your students and make them enthusiastic about learning.
First of all, let us discuss some of the core learning motivation blocks experienced by students:
5 Core Learning Motivation Blocks
- Lack of Purpose:
Lack of purpose is one of the biggest learning motivation blocks experienced by the students. Most of them don’t have a specific purpose for learning. They don’t consider education as a means to realize their goals and ambitions in their life. For them, it is just a typical addition to their lives. They come to school only because their parents send them there. If given a choice, they won’t prefer attending school because they lack the purpose for undertaking the journey of learning.
- Lack of interest:
Learning is not an enjoyable task for everyone. As a result, the students’ brain may not b inclined towards knowledge. Instead, it is more inclined towards tasks it finds enjoyable such as playing video games, spending time on social media and talking to friends. This implies that lack of interest is a significant learning motivation block experienced by your students.
Gone are the days when stress was limited to adult life. Nowadays, even children are prone to stress. According to a survey conducted by WebMD, 72% of children have negative behaviours associated with stress, and 62% have physical symptoms related to it, such as headache and upset stomach. Further, when children are living in a stressful state, they are so overwhelmed that they cannot focus on learning. Thus, stress is a significant motivation block experienced by students.
- Lack of relevance with real-life:
Most students don’t find their studies relatable to real-life. For example, congruence of triangles is a concept of Mathematics, which the students can barely relate to their real life. This lack of relevance is one of the primary reasons for the lack of learning motivation in the students.
Procrastination is a huge motivation block. Many students don’t feel motivated to learn in class as they are in the habit of delaying things. They don’t make proper notes because they know that they can borrow notes from their friends later. Also, they start studying only when the examinations approach nearby. This way, procrastination is a considerable roadblock which prevents your students from learning enthusiastically.
Now, to make your students enthusiastic about learning, you have to help them overcome these motivation blocks. Here are some ways you can help your students overcome the different motivation blocks mentioned above:Actionable steps to help your students discover the purpose of learning:
It is entirely understood that if your students discover the purpose of learning, they’ll get motivated to learn well in class. So, here are some steps for you to help your students discover their pursuit of learning:
- Ask them to write about what they want to become in life:
First of all, you have to ask your students to write about what they want to become in life. This will make them introspect and find perhaps their purpose in life.
- Give them a day to find out how they can become what they want to become:
After your students have written about their ambitions, you have to ask them to find out how they can become what they want to become. You can give them at least a day to find this out. As they’ll perform this task by using the internet or other resources, most of them will themselves understand that what they are learning currently, has a role to play in the fulfilment of their ambition.
- Ask your students to discuss what they want to become and how they can achieve their goal, in the class, one by one:
As your students come back to school on the next day, ask them to discuss what they want to become and how they can achieve their goal, one by one in class. This will help you learn about the different ambitions your students have.
- Once everyone is done, relate to how learning is the way to the fulfilment of their dreams:
Once your students are done discussing their ambitions, help them realise that what they are learning is a part of their journey towards fulfilling their aspirations.
Even if some of your students have their ambitions related to creative fields like dancing, acting and singing, you can make them realise that primary education is still essential for them.
For example, if one of your students is interested in becoming an actor, then, you can tell him that literacy is one basic need for him to succeed in his ambition. Moreover, you can also make him realise that life is uncertain, and he should always have some backup plan. So, he should still engage actively in learning. This way, you can help your students understand the purpose of learning.Actionable techniques to make learning interesting for your students:
We are intrinsically motivated to do the things we find interesting. So, let's discuss some actionable techniques to ignite study motivation in your students by making learning interesting for them:
Playing is what children love doing the most. They are ever-ready to play. So, if you include gamification in your teaching process, you can easily ignite your students’ interest in learning. You can utilize both online as well as offline games for the gamification of learning.
Quizzes, pictionary and charades are some popular offline games which you can play while teaching. For example, if you are a Mathematics teacher and you have to make your students learn about different geometrical shapes, then, you can play Pictionary with them. Further, you can also play online educational games with your students. PBSKids, Fun Brain.com and education.com are some websites where you can find suitable educational games according to your subject.
- Use technological tools for teaching:
The traditional whiteboard method of teaching is no longer appealing to the students. They need some new and innovative teaching methods to ignite their curiosity in learning. So, you could try to use technological tools such as smartboards, document cameras and tablets for teaching in class.
- Make learning happen outside the four walls of the classroom:
Sometimes children only need a change of environment to get engaged in learning. So, you could try to make learning happen outside the four walls of the classroom. You can take your students out in the school grounds and teach them there, if your school policy allows that.Actionable techniques to help your students with stress management:
Stress leads to a chaotic mental state which disrupts your students’ ability to focus and remember things correctly. Along with this, it also drains their energy and makes them feel low. So, to make your students enthusiastic about learning, you need to help them keep their stress levels managed. Here are some actionable techniques to do so:
- Take them outside in the sunshine:
Exposures to sunlight trigger the release of happy hormone – Serotonin - in the brain. This happy hormone functions actively in reducing the levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. As a result, our stress level decreases. Take them outside in the sunshine every day, if you can. This could help them focus more on learning because of reduced stress levels.
- Teach them how to meditate:
‘Meditation’ is known to be one of the best techniques for stress management. So, you could try to teach your students how to meditate. If they learn how to meditate and practice it regularly, they will develop a more relaxed mental state. In this state of mind they can focus better in class and naturally become enthusiastic towards learning.
- Add playtime in the time table:
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This famous saying highlights the importance of playtime for children. Playing triggers the release of happy hormones in the body, which, as discussed above, bring a reduction in our stress level. Further, as your students become relaxed, their concentration level will increase. With this, they’ll be able to understand the concepts being taught to them more quickly and start exhibiting enthusiasm towards learning. So, you should try to add playtime in your students’ time table.Actionable tips to help your students find relevance in learning:
It is quite natural not to feel curious about learning something you don’t think has relevance to your life. The same is true for your students. So, to ignite their curiosity in learning, you have to help them find relevance in education. Here are some actionable tips:
- Give practical examples regarding the usefulness of the concepts you teach in class:
This is one of the simplest ways to help your students find relevance in learning. You may give some practical examples of how the concepts you teach in class can be used by them in their lives. For example, if you are teaching trigonometry, you could share its practical applications with your students, such as in the creation of good music and measurement of the height of tall buildings and mountains.
- Try to implement the hands-on-learning approach whenever possible:
When your students perform and see things happening in front of their eyes, they can relate more with what they are being asked to study in class. As a result, they may naturally become more interested in learning. So, you should try to implement the hands-on-learning approach whenever possible. For example, while teaching trigonometry, you can take your students to measure the height of a small tree by applying trigonometry. Later, you can verify the results using a measuring tape and make your students see that trigonometry yields accurate results in height measurement.
- Reward the students who give real-life examples related to what you are teaching in class:
You can make it a habit to reward the students who give real-life examples related to what you are teaching in class. This is a simple trick to motivate your students to utilize their thinking ability and determine the practical applications of what they are learning by themselves.Actionable tips to help your students beat procrastination:
As discussed earlier, procrastination is a major learning motivation block experienced by your students. So, to make them feel enthusiastic about learning, you have to help them beat procrastination by using the tips below:
- Assign game-based homework:
Many students procrastinate doing their homework. Now, good way to make your students stop procrastinating and start doing their homework is to assign a game-based task.
For this, you can search the internet and create interesting quizzes, puzzles and other game-based homework for your students. You can also assign them online educational games-based tasks.
- Assign group tasks:
Students are less likely to procrastinate on their studies when they have to study in groups. This is simply because learning together can be a fun activity for them.
- Reward the students who submit their work first:
Motivation is an antidote to procrastination. The question is how to encourage your students to do their work as soon as they get it. The answer is to reward the students who submit their work first.
For example, you can reward the 5 students who submit their assignments to you first. This will not only motivate them to keep it up, but might also encourage the other students to try to complete their work as soon as possible.
Lack of study motivation is one reason why your students aren’t enthusiastic about learning. So try using some of the different tips and techniques mentioned above to help them overcome the 5 major learning motivation blocks.