Motivating students may prove to be a real challenge, especially for young lecturers who are just embarking on their teaching career.
This might lead towards disappointment and discouragement, but if you try to implement these few steps, you will for sure be able to motivate students and yourself on the long run. And being a teacher, your job is to present them with what they need to do to succeed in life, as well as to help them master your subject’s curricula.
Here is what you should do.
1) Always be honest and truthful
Students today are much more analytic. They understand the processes behind the scenes, know what the future brings are should be given much more credit than they normally are. Be yourself, don’t feel intimidated by the paperwork and administration, show you are human. Be honest in your approach, be open in your communication and collaborate with other colleagues, staff and students themselves.
2) Use ICT
ICTs stand for information and communication technologies and are defined, for the purposes of this primer, as a “diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information.” These technologies include computers, the internet, broadcasting technologies (radio and television), and telephony. Don’t be lazy or afraid to experiment. Show a clip from time to time, play a song, express your affinities and use technology to teach your students about what is important related to your subject, programme, project or idea. Show you. Being a teacher is more than just teaching. You are there to guide and inspire. ICT really helps. And it is fun, too.
3) Teach your students to collaborate
No person is an island, the old saying goes. This is a reality and this means that whether we like our surroundings and our collaboration teams, at a certain point in our lives, we will find ourselves in a position where we have to compromise and find ways to overcome challenges and less than ideal circumstances. Teach your students the value of listening, of sharing, brainstorming. You can do everything in more ways than one. They will appreciate this effort.
You can use programmes for this, make them share ideas, files, and you yourself should collaborate with students, using multimedia and more. CollaboraZon lets you share files, comment and create events – so that you can work with your students more easily and efficiently. The great thing is that they can also collaborate in smaller groups as well. It is free to use for a month, and we are sure you will love it! Register here.
4) Teach them skills
World today is not as it used to be. Having a college degree means literally nothing anymore if you haven’t invested your time into developing many multidisciplinary skills. Whatever your students decide to do in life someday, they will at least need to be aware of the challenges ahead. And the challenges are real.
They will have to learn during their entire life. This is lifelong learning which is a concept our parents and grandparents had no need to familiarize themselves with. They will need to keep learning new technologies. It changes so fast that basically every month there is some new fad, app, technological advancement you need to get your head around. Brace yourselves. Or-themselves in this case.
They will need to learn to get the bigger picture and implement a variety of ideas to a single case. This is difficult for a single person. No one can know everything. Which puts even higher emphasis on point 3. They will need to learn to live online and offline. Students must not forget the value of analog and 3D. We implement what we learn online, and not vice versa. Yet.
Students will put in extra effort if you show them that they are working and learning for themselves, not you, their parents or because “they have to”. Make them feel they must. For their own good.
5) Learn more and become more
They should probably at least grasp the general ideas of basic design, marketing, management, collaboration, teamwork, legal regulations and perhaps a bit of programming, psychology and of course – learn languages as much as possible.
In these cutting edge times, it is essential to learn more, do more and be more. But above all, learn to relax as well.
Show your students that it is OK to have downtime and that the world will not stop spinning for it. The world revolves perpetually, and it is up to them to decide how fast and in which direction.
Learning how to manage their lives will be the best motivation you can give them. And it starts with an example. You, as a teacher, are that example. And an award for all the teachers out there. The burden is heavy, but the fruits are sweet.