How to Motivate an Unmotivated student
In my sixteen years of experience one of the major problems I have faced as an educator is dealing with students that are unmotivated to learn. It is not uncommon to have one to two students a year who are not motivated to learn or to be engaged during the school day. In this paper, I will explain ways that I have used to turn an unmotivated student and into an active learner. It is not an easy task but these steps have worked for me in the past.
First, it is important to try to understand where the lack of motivation originates. Is it the lack support from home, a low self-esteem, or a problem with dealing with school stressors? Students just need to know that I am there to help them in anyway. Once I figure out why the child is unmotivated then I start to work on building a strong student-teacher relationship. This may mean that I attend an afterschool activity, such as watching them play a sport or perform a dance recital. I feel that students will learn more for me if they know I care about them as a person not just as a student.
I am known in our building as the HAPPY teacher. My classroom door is painted as a big smiley face. So, as I meet and greet every student by name each morning they are entering the Mrs. Freeman’s Happy Zone. This makes them feel special and lets them know I am happy they are there for the day. Students know from the very beginning of the year that only positive actions and learning occur in my classroom.
There are numerous positive rewards offered in my classroom to encourage active learning. For example, I use a money system where I reward students for correct answers or participation. Unmotivated students will do a lot for money. My students have also been trained to compliment other students for their efforts. When I catch them doing this, I use another reward system called caught being good. Students are allowed to go to the reward board and pull a star. On...