One of the best things about being a teachers is that you never have time to get bored- there is always more to try, more to learn and more to do!. Teachers leave lasting impression in students, there have been cases of students doing or saying things in a certain way and when asked, they would say ‘oh Aunty Tope pronounces it this way’, or ‘my teacher does it that way’.
Few teachers would deny that motivated students are easier to teach, in fact students who are motivated are interested in learning, and they do learn. So how do teachers motivate their students? What can you do as a teacher to bring out the best in your students?
Here are some practical steps to take:
- Be in tune with every student- when students suddenly change behaviour, there is always a reason. Learn to be in tune with every student’s story, know what is happening in their lives. Being genuinely interested in their lives, in and beyond the classroom. Know your students name, and use their name as often as possible. That way, students know they can trust you and be free with you.
- Believe in them- isn’t it amazing how some teachers can say ‘Tunde in my class? No he can’t do that!. That is belief. That is trust. If you believe in them, and they know you believe in them, they will constantly surpass you and your expectations. Let your students know you take them seriously and you have high expectations of them.
- Give them feedback- feedback from you should happen all the time, and can take different forms. Give a ‘thumbs up’, an ‘excellent’ or a ‘well done’ where necessary and scold where needed. Pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of each students, reward their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses.
- Interact with them- in class, maintain eye contact and move towards your students as you interact with them. Be expressive, smile. Put some excitement in your speech; vary your pitch, volume, and rate. Move around the room as you teach.
- Be available- be available to your students before class starts, during class and after class. Create opportunities for your students to speak to you, and be consistent in the way you treat them.
- Make the learning meaningful and relevant by linking it to students’ interests, goals and backgrounds. Use metaphors and stories to bring the content to life, give lots of examples. Conveying your passion for the subject to the students will bring it to life for them. And finally,
- To get the most out of your students, it is important that you get the most out of yourself first. You can do this by modelling high standards in your lesson preparation.
Employ a variety of strategies:
(a) Use different resources,
(b) Allow students to work in pairs, groups or individually,
(c) Add movement and music to embed learning concepts,
(d) Use peer teaching, students running activities and students as experts.
Teaching and working with students is a gift, live one grateful day at a time.
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