Boosting Your Student’s Motivation
There are many factors that contribute to one’s success. These factors can both be internal or external. One of the biggest factors for success is motivation. When someone puts their mind to work hard and do better, and surpass themselves, anything can be achievable and possible. For students, motivation also helps them get through more complex lessons they haven’t come across with, knowing that this will help them in the future. As such, motivation helps them to aim to do better than they previously did, making them aim for better scores and better grades.
However, it’s also no surprise that many students also lose their motivation to learn quite easily because of the demanding and stressful competition of the education system. Motivation can impact a student’s performance in the sense that when a student lacks or loses motivation, both their efforts and their teachers’ would be put to waste. They will simply not want to do better and even settle for the output they are giving out. When this happens, there will be no improvement or growth within them. As such, they may also deteriorate mentally and emotionally. They will not want to participate in anything school-related, and in extreme cases can also affect their lives outside of school.
This is why motivation is so important for students and many tutors struggle with encouraging students to be motivated or giving their students motivation, to begin with. It can be difficult but not impossible. If you are also looking for ways to boost motivation in your students, we have put together this article for you.
1. Feedback instead of marks
For many students, seeing marks below what they have expected to get can be very disheartening and really cause to create self-doubt. Because students are often judged only based on the marks or grades they have received, they could also be put under a lot of pressure in reporting their marks to their parents all the time. In some cases, this can cause the student to develop anxiety when looking at their marks or when speaking to their parents about their grades, even though they have gotten good ones.
It is uncontrollable in schools or examinations because marks are what are usually used to assess a student’s performance. However, you can make your tuition sessions a little bit different by using feedback instead of marks. This means that you can use rubrics when assessing a student’s work or performance instead of the normal point system. As such, you can also opt to give them comments on how they can improve their work, things they have missed, and how they can do better in the future.
This will help them focus on improving themselves instead of getting the marks they wanted. It also makes sure that students will be aiming to develop their skills and knowledge, making what they have learned embedded in them rather than memorizing them to pass their exam and then forgetting them soon after.
Aside from this, with feedback, students will know exactly what mistake they have made and also learn from their tutor what they can do to avoid making the same mistake in the future or how they can improve the next time. The aim of giving feedback is to not put the student down but for them to be made aware of what else they can improve on that would also reflect on the marks that they will be getting when they apply it in their classroom and exams.
2. Use rewards
There are many arguments when using rewards for students. Some would argue that rewards are another term for bribery but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, students are motivated further by rewards, it keeps everyone going so to say. As a home tutor, rewards don’t have to be elaborate things that would cost a lot. Things such as a “Well done!” or “Good job!” stamp, stickers, a piece of stationery, or even candies will help students affirm that they have made improvements. Once they realize that they will be getting a reward for their hard work, they will also aim to improve more and continue doing a good job. If you are not partial to material rewards, you can also give them verbal praises or acknowledgment. Sometimes, rewards also come in the form of a few more minutes of break time than usual.
The most important thing about rewards is that students have to earn them. Don’t give them rewards to bribe them into finishing their school work or homework. Instead, it should be to acknowledge their good behavior and development.
3. Encouragement when they are struggling
Usually, students who have engaged in a home tutor’s services are those that are struggling academically and require the extra support. They need a lot of help especially if they are having trouble with the fundamentals. As a home tutor, you should possess a lot of patience when helping these students. You should be prepared to not lose your cool when they don’t get it the first time. When students see their tutor becoming frustrated when teaching them, it will also translate to them and they will then start to feel even more frustrated and shows feelings of hopelessness.
When helping boost student motivation, it will do no good if you show that teaching them is frustrating you. They will only feel bad that they are not understanding what you are teaching them and so, will make them feel worse about their struggles as well. Instead of doing so, assure them that what they are going through is normal and part of life. It’s not a guarantee that they will understand a topic the first time it has been explained to them. Help them understand that you are there to help them improve. Provide words of encouragement for them to keep going.
You have to remember that there are a lot of factors that affect a student’s understanding of topics. Sometimes it may be cognitive but there are also times that it can be a lack of motivation or overwhelming self-doubt. And so, when your student is struggling, keep your cool and encourage them instead to keep going.
4. Adjust to their pacing
Students have different learning styles and learning paces. This means tutors shouldn’t also use one method for all their learning approaches. One of the important benefits of engaging in home tuition is that students will be given a chance to learn according to a method that also fits their learning style. How they will be taught will be customized for them and their learning needs. In a one-size-fits-all method, it can leave students feeling inadequate, especially if it doesn’t work for them no matter how much they try to understand. This can leave them feeling disheartened and will lead to demotivation.
If you are a home tutor, you have more ability to give your undivided attention to your individual student. Don’t rush their learning, instead pay attention to their learning pace and ensure they have built their fundamentals before moving on. This would help you and the student as you both progress on to the lessons as the student will have all the backup knowledge they need to move forward. For you, there will be fewer chances of you going back and forth the lessons if you have ensured the student completely understands before moving forward.
As such, in keeping up with your student’s pacing, there will be fewer instances for them to feel disheartened because they don’t have to catch up to other students. They will only be more focused on their own improvement.
Motivating a struggling student can be difficult but not impossible. As a home tutor, it’s important for you to really consider how to make sure your students associate positive feelings with learning and feel encouraged when they have reached their academic milestones. Motivation is very important for students as it will help them push through with their lessons and move forward to becoming better academically.
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