Getting kids motivated and keeping their interest- fears as a new teacher

One of my biggest fears as becoming a new teacher is getting kids motivated. How do you deal with students who refuse to do their work or learn? Are there any specific methods that could be used? Also... how do you keep the interest of your students when the subject material is dryer. Does anyone have any other ideas besides differentiating the methods of teaching? Please feel free to give any ideas or actual methods that are integrated into your own classrooms! Thanks :)

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This is a really difficult question, and there are a lot of answers, many of which depend on your personal style of teaching. But in my experience, this is what I've found to be most motivating for students:

 

  1. Inspire Internal Motivation
    Especially with older students, connect their work to their success later in life (not with grades, but with achieving their long-term goals -- college, career, etc.).
  2. Be Creative!
    Anything can be made interesting, even dry material. I used technology to motivate students -- when they could make a movie or a comic strip about a concept, they were more engaged with it. (Especially when they knew that they'd lose those tech privileges if they didn't stay on task.)
  3. Build Relevance
    Make the learning relevant to students' lives. Instead of starting a poetry unit with William Shakespeare, start with Tupac.
  4. Create Community
    Build a community of learning, where students celebrate in each other's successes and feel responsible for one another's failures. I worked at a school where the saying "ALL of us WILL learn" was painted on the wall. We were a community and we all needed to help each other learn. In other words, use peer pressure to your advantage -- get kids to pressure each other into being successful.
  5. Make Personal Connections
    Convince students that you truly care about them and you want what's best for them, and they'll be willing to work for you.

 

Thank you very much! I will definitely use some of these methods!
I will definitely do that.. thanks!

There are a few things you can do to keep your students interested and motivated. Get creative with your lesson plans. Try to change things up so they don’t get use to doing thing same thing all the time. Plan hands-on activities that the students can be involved and be active, rather than just sitting in a desk listening to a lecture about whatever the topic may be.

I think you have some great questions that can be answered in many different ways. I remember back in elementary and even high school where the teachers would motivate us into doing our work so that at the end of the month (or certain amount of time) we would be able to bring in snacks and have a mini celebration at the end of the day, the students that didn't complete their work had to be sent to another area to finish the remainder of their work and when completed they would be able to join us as well. It was rare that students would have to be sent away to finish their work. As for keeping the students interest, I think its just dependent on the teacher and how enthusiastic they are about teaching the subject. Students can feed off the teachers and will not find something interesting if you as the teacher do not find it interesting. Also just being creative and making learning fun will keep students wanting to learn more.

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