How to Motivate Young Students to Grow Leaders
I worked with the kids a lot, I did different activities, volunteered in scouts groups, somehow the kids' department was always on me and must say I always loved it. Working with the kids is always the most fun, as you can always learn something new, it’s never boring, they don’t stop to surprise you. Kids can be very hyper and active, but at the same time very shy. Sometimes in the class full of the kids, all of them can behave completely differently, and it can be really hard to motivate them. Kids usually don’t hesitate to express their feelings at any time, which can be a good and a bad thing, as you never know how they are going to act and how they will behave in the class.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Katarina V. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Strategies of Attention Grabbing
As said, it’s not always easy to motivate the kids, maybe not as much motivation, but to keep their attention, still, some ways always worked for me. At the beginning of every class, I try to give them a little star or a sticker for all of those who participate, and if they are naughty the most of the time I don’t give them any stickers. A lot of times, I would offer them either little gifts or small snacks. Snack always works with the kids, but not many parents are happy with me giving them snacks, so I only use this method occasionally. Sweets are a good motivator for the kids! I usually give them points for homework, for participation, and for behaving well in the class. Fifteen of these points are equal to one little snack or sweet. Regarding little gifts, usually, after every class I give them one or more dollars bill depending on the how they behaved in the class, they can save up these dollars and buy a toy in my little “toy store” and usually kids try hard to save as much as possible, and to earn in the classes as much as possible so they can buy the toy they like before someone else gets it.
The toy store is a good method to use, as you are teaching them that for everything in life you have to do work to get it, but at the same time they are having fun and they are being motivated. For the most time, this works, but sometimes I struggle even with this. Naughty kids can be very hard to handle, but so can be shy. With the shy kids, you are not sure if they don’t understand or if they are just not interested, and for me, shy kids are the hardest to deal with, I had to find a solution for this too.
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Making kids laugh is the key! Naughty and shy kids will laugh the same, so with the shy kids I try to make them laugh first so they feel comfortable with them, and after some classes, I realized they are becoming more open. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to involve the parents, I try to leave this option as my very last move, as the parents are either too stricken with kids, or they just don’t care. However, working with kids is a pure blessing, and I hope I will get a chance to do it for the rest of my life!
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