Back to School – creating motivation in the classroom
12th September 2017
As the vacation come to an end, thoughts of students and lesson plans replace time spent relaxing on sandy beaches and dipping toes in the warm sea. Chances are, the only major decision to make is which flavor ice cream to choose. Teachers know all too well that it’s challenging enough to bring motivation in the classroom on a Monday morning after a weekend, never mind motivation for back to school after 6 weeks! Following their long break, it’s likely that students will return to your classroom feeling sluggish and unprepared to immediately resume learning. To reignite energy levels this semester, we have provided you with some top tips to bring back the school motivation in the classroom:
1) During the first week back encourage your class to share stories:
Students have not seen each other for a while and the novelty of returning to school could be enhanced by their interest in what their classmates did during the summer. So instead of beginning the first day back by returning immediately to routine (which is unlikely to get your students’ attention and may cause bad behaviour or a lack of focus), engage your students in a day of fun, stimulating activities and encourage them to share their vacation news, which will increase motivation in the classroom.
Students are likely to want to tell their class about what they got up to over the summer: the trips they had been on, places they have visited and exciting things they have learnt. Perhaps create a starter activity around this to get everyone excited and engaged, increasing motivation for back to school and getting everyone involved and chatting.
2) Be real and upfront with them about the importance of school
Create a positive correlation between learning and the fun things in life. Provide examples where becoming more knowledgeable about science helps people to develop a better understanding of the world they live in. Maybe talk about how reading can open up a whole world of fantasy and exploration for them or share ideas where maths could teach them concepts they can use in sports and playing with friends. This will increase motivation in the classroom by demonstrating to them why they are at school and what they can achieve by doing well. If they start with a positive attitude at the beginning of the academic year, it is more likely that this to continue throughout the year.
3) Set Short-Term Goals
At the beginning of a school year, motivation for back to school can be discouraged by the lengthy struggle they perceive is ahead. A few months can seem like an eternity when they’re filled with demanding assignments and difficult assessments. In order to keep students focused and prevent them from despairing, highlight the short-term goals. Such goals could include: completing all homework assignments, improving basic note-taking skills, reading a chapter each night or even packing their bag for the day ahead. A strategically scheduled school trip can also serve as an enticing incentive for students to remain motivated in the first weeks back after a long break and can definitely bring back the school motivation!
4) Provide rewards to bring motivation in the classroom
In the classroom, rewards can increase motivation. Motivation can suffer when students find the work they are doing too easy and boring, therefore set realistic challenges. If they are succeeding in lessons, provide more extension activities to continue to test their learning in that area and let them know how proud you are of their success. If they are struggling and feel unable to complete the task, provide a reward if they focus and listen to your help. Many students are motivated if they know they may gain something positive if they succeed, as it gives them an added incentive.
5) Make learning fun!
Here at Impero, we know the value of making learning interesting and fun. As you begin a new topic, consider thinking outside of the box. Endless essays and repetitive assignments diminish motivation for back to school and curb students’ enthusiasm, especially in the first couple of weeks back. Innovative, exciting projects keep students on their toes and help reduce fatigue and boredom, creating motivation in the classroom. Motivation and confidence could be enhanced if the students are encouraged to work as part of a team.
Technology can make learning more interesting and fun and bring motivation for back to school. Subjects that are deemed challenging or boring can become more engaging with virtual lessons, through a film or a tablet. Try adopting technology in your lessons to increase motivation in the classroom and stimulate the visual learners.
Impero Education Pro’s classroom monitoring software is designed to give teachers the confidence to use technology in their lessons. Simple, one-click tools enable teachers to quickly and easily control, monitor and instruct their class – all from a simple interface. To learn more about how Impero Education Pro can help support technology use within lessons and the classroom, watch this video.