Edudevs | School of Inspired Teaching and Learning

Rethinking the Role of Motivation | From the Founder’s Desk, January’22

The 21st-century teacher of the global, modern education system is no longer a sage on the stage, but a guide on the side, pouring motivation and encouragement into students. Let's rethink the role of motivation in classrooms.

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids to work together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.                                                                        – Bill Gates

The above quote strengthens the fact that teachers play a very important role in the lives of students. Along with being the facilitators and a guide on the side, teachers act as motivators for the students. It is well said that sometimes the thing that your students need most, has nothing to do with what’s on your lesson plan. Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours. Keywords being the Goal-Oriented Behaviours. Teachers guide and influence their students to attain their potential while learning acceptable social behaviours.

A 21st-century educators’ role in motivating the students includes creating an environment conducive to learning. Their role in encouraging support of students’ autonomy, relevance, and relatedness of the material increases motivation to learn. Their ability to develop students’ competence, interest in the subject taught, and perception of self-efficacy are all important factors that influence students’ motivation to learn.

Without motivation learning is not feasible. For learning any idea or concept, motivation is a vital factor as it stimulates students towards learning. Some students are intrinsically motivated but most need encouragement – this is where teachers play a prominent part. For instance, when parents find it difficult to persuade their children to study, an encouraging note from the teacher puts them on the right path. Such efforts from an educator’s end highly enhance the learning capacity of a student.

It is imperative to understand that motivation doesn’t just refer to the factors that activate behaviours; it also involves the factors that direct and maintain these goal-directed actions. More than the lessons and curricula, the inspiration through their actions and speech drive their students to act in the desired direction. Students derive motivation from their educator’s verbal and non-verbal behaviours.

A student’s thirst for knowledge can be satisfied by a teacher through content. However, for effective teaching, teachers should not take teaching as merely a mechanical job rather a way of life. A teacher not only contributes to the overall personality development of a child but also prepares the child for his/her active participation in life and society.

From my experience as an educator and Principal, I suggest the following ways to motivate your students. These small, but lasting, changes will empower your students to become self-driven. They never get outdated and are a sure way to instill encouragement in them.

¶ Know your students. Spend time to know them individually and use this knowledge to grip their attention in class subtly. Develop a bond with them so they can easily receive from you.

¶ Plan for every class; never try to wing it. Believe me, they’ll know. Have some back-up plans ready, always.

¶ If possible, encourage communication and collaboration among students in classes.

Diverge your classroom strategies; use lectures, demonstrations, discussions, case studies, group learning, games and more. Even in your online classes.

¶ Analyse the learning objectives with your students. Ensure that they understand what and why they are expected to learn, do, know, etc.

¶ Make your classes relevant. Ensure your lessons are related to the world around them.

¶ Be expressive. Smile often. Emulate and vocalise whenever possible. Create excitement into your speech; vary your pitch, volume and rate, etc. Body language is equally prominent.

¶ Empower students to share their ideas and comments, even if they are incorrect. Ask and give as many examples

¶ Offer rewards and celebrate their achievements. Help them to feel a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to work with a goal in mind.

¶ Maintain eye contact. Nod your head to show that you are listening to them.

¶ Try and be available before class starts, during break, and after class to visit with students if they need you

¶ Plan around a 15–20-minute cycle in your class, i.e., change the topic, method or methodology. Students have difficulty maintaining attention after a longer period of time.

¶ Involve your students in your teaching. Ask for feedback.

Trust me your students look up to you for more than their lessons. Your influence never stops. As they say the lessons and curriculum will be forgotten but the way you touch their lives will always be with them. More power to you dear Educators!


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