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The Two Sides of Classroom Motivation

The Two Sides of Classroom Motivation | ITTT | TEFL Blog

A classroom has two different personalities. One, the teacher and the other, the students.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Eshita P. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

The teacher comes to the classroom with the purpose of teaching and imparting his or her knowledge to the students. And the students, in turn, come to learn from the teacher. The purpose of the classroom is defeated when either of the two participants fails to meet the above expectation. The failure could be attributed to either the teacher or the student which could be due to any number of reasons. Hence it becomes imperative for both to be motivated to have a successful classroom. The basic requirement for this is a strong teacher-student bonding which is built on mutual trust and respect. This aspect is all the more important when dealing with older students in higher classes.

Generally, students performing well and receiving healthy responses from them is a motivation for a teacher. If the students have an intrinsic interest in the subject, motivation for the students is automatic. However, when the subject does not interest the students the teacher will have to deploy one of the following to encourage them :

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Achievement motivation

This kind of motivation is something that drives you to achieve your goals. Hence the teacher must appreciate even the smallest of achievement by the students.

Competence motivation

This kind of motivation is about individuals performing great quality of work. It is about getting better at your work and using your problem-solving skills. The teacher must identify the competence of each student and make him realize the same which will motivate him to improve his competence.

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Incentive motivation

The students get motivated when they are rewarded for their good quality of work or achievement. The teacher must adopt different parameters to evaluate the class so that the maximum number of students can be motivated by giving incentives. For example, memory check, handwriting, grammar, reading, diction, speaking, listening, general knowledge, etc. The teacher can also motivate students with subject-related games. The students may be given topics to debate or speak on extempore which develops their confidence in public speaking and motivates them to open up in class discussions which in turn improves the teacher-student relationship.

Whereas the teacher gets motivated by the active participation of the students and their positive response, he needs to constantly update himself by reading about current events, learning about how to improve his teaching skills and knowledge, and attending relevant workshops which in turn will motivate him to teach better. The body language, attire, mannerisms, and expressions should bring in positive energy into the classroom which will keep everyone motivated.

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Teachers will automatically get motivated when students perform well in the class which is in turn a credit to the teacher. This is self encouraging to the teacher to get better at teaching and also a self-assurance that things are moving smoothly and in the right direction in the classroom. It is always a good idea to take a survey now and then from the students to understand where and in which criteria, a teacher can be improved. A teacher can always work on his weakness to improve his teaching skills to keep oneself motivated. Having a good rapport with the students can always be helpful to keep a feel-good atmosphere in the classroom. The teacher needs to be motivated constantly as he is dealing with the careers and lives of his students. A student if not motivated by a teacher can seek a different teacher but a demotivated teacher, no matter which student he teaches, will only have a debilitating effect on the student.

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