If there is one thing we can all agree on, especially as teachers, it’s that there is not one student that resembles the other. Whether in their manners, efforts, or character traits, they’re all uniquely different from one another. To be able to deal with all of that in one place, the classroom is heroism in itself. Keeping in mind that, today’s educational system is highly complex. There is no single learning approach that works for everyone. So differentiation is a must, whether scientifically or psychologically.
From a psychological aspect with a sprinkle of teaching experience, reaching out to your students is quite a challenge, but the results are beautiful. There’s one highlighted word behind all of it, motivation, the key to success and better results.
Effort comes first.
Having a classroom with all those different minds means you will encounter all sorts of results. While one is great at Math, the other excels in English Literature, so evaluating their work requires that you put their efforts into consideration. Therefore, grading based on performance and efforts exerted means you are directly motivating your students to give more and put in more energy in their next piece of work. This can inspire pupils to become focused on their goals and on how to achieve them.
Involving them in real life problems.
Being able to make your students feel like they are a big part of the world today will make them want to work harder. If you can involve them in tackling real world/life problems in the classroom, you would be getting your students’ minds engaged, excited, and working hard on solving things. This makes them feel needed and pushes them to accomplish more. When someone feels like their opinion and efforts matter at making a change, they will be motivated to give more. Adding up to that, this will build up some group work, and exchanging ideas with one another in class, which means more excitement at giving their all.
The higher your expectations about them the better.
To show your students that you believe in them regardless of their past results and accomplishments means that, you have high expectations of them. If you constantly make sure to give them positive feedback, you would be slowly building up the eagerness in them to believe they can do better and actually attain it. Maybe you can give them the same task they didn’t do well at, but in a different form, and show them how much you are sure they can make it, then sit back and watch them want to prove you right.
Protect their creativity.
Spotting creativity in a student means it’s time to help him/her make it grow. These days, creativity is considered a critical skill for the technology-driven world that we live in. You will need to test their creativity in how they accomplish things, by maybe handing them some “more imaginative” things to accomplish, that will unconsciously force them to give their best and want to become better at it, to prove to you and to themselves that they are good at this. Again, any adults’, specifically teachers’, belief in a young adult is a direct motivation token.
One little step at a time can go a long way.
Giving your students short, specific, yet challenging goals can make them feel more successful and once again the motivational energy is back. Long-term goals can seem a bit unattainable for many students, they might panic about it, others might become lazy to the thought that it will take a while to get to what they want, and of course, there will be a few who would strive for it anyway.
An educator is someone who sees through their students and can grasp the different kinds of lights shining within them, looking for motivation to make them brighter. Our psychological methods vary from one person to another, and even though they might seem hard to apply sometimes, they are totally worth the result and seeing young minds inspired to do more.
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