'Motivational Teaching—Motivated Students'

'Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.'—Simon Sinek

'Motivational Teaching—Motivated Students'

Every person is able to learn anything he wants. So what is the key element of success? MOTIVATION. It results in hard work, which leads to success. Very easy, right?

Nowadays, teachers are overloaded with marking, planning, and tons of paperwork…But if you have motivated students, the rest won’t seem so hard anymore. From the psychological point of view, there are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. What are they?

Intrinsically motivated students are fascinated with a subject and they are sincerely interested in it. They are focused on a subject rather than rewards or punishments.

Extrinsic motivation refers to behaviour that is driven by external rewards such as grades, money, fame, or praise.

So, the primary difference between the two types is that extrinsic motivation arises from outside of the individual while extrinsic motivation arises from within.

You would say, “What’s the difference? Motivation is motivation. It doesn’t matter what motivates students.” Let me provide you with an example:

A psychologist, Edward Deci, conducted an experiment. He divided college students into two groups and placed each group in a room with a Soma cube and some magazines. He instructed the participants to work on the puzzle, but one group was offered to be paid for each design they assembled correctly. After a certain period of time, Deci informed the students that puzzle-solving time was over, adding that he would leave for about ten minutes to record data and would return with a questionnaire. But rather than record data, he observed the groups from outside the rooms. He saw a noticeable difference. To a significant degree, paid participants were more likely to put down the puzzles and pick up magazines. Participants who weren’t paid, on the other hand, were more likely to continue to work on the puzzles.

This experiment can be summed up with his own words: “When people say that money motivates, what they really mean is that money controls.”

Hence, I have a question… As a teacher, would you like to have students who are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? Would you like to control or inspire? Hypothetically speaking, if we remove a grade system from our schools, what would happen?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of intrinsic motivation?

Intrinsic motivation is long-lasting and self-sustaining. Otherwise, efforts at fostering intrinsic motivation can be slow and require special and lengthy preparation.

Here, I am going to present first two key elements to having intrinsically motivated students: “know your students” and “be passionate.”

Know your students…

It doesn’t only mean that you memorise their names and surnames…it’s not enough… know their hobbies, interests, goals, dreams, desires, passions, strengths, but also fears and weaknesses.

If you do, planning a lesson won’t be like wondering in a dark room. Will they like this video or activity? To use this example or that one? All students are different. All classes are different. As a teacher, I have never delivered the same lessons with the same topic in two different groups. I knew that what would work in 9B group wouldn’t in 9C group.

Individual approach! Meet your students, know your students, feel your students…

Be passionate…

I have always believed in my students, I have always believed that they will achieve. In some groups, at the very beginning, I was the only person who believed….then, step by step, I showed them that they could…I sincerely cared of everyone. I was sincerely worried and concerned as well as happy and excited about their achievements. They saw it, they knew, they felt that, sometimes, I cared about their exams, results, achievements more than they did themselves.

Be passionate, inspire, believe…

Lubow Dabrowska-Szpakowicz
Lubow Dabrowska-Szpakowicz
Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Lubow Dabrowska-Szpakowicz

Firstly, I am a teacher...

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