Simple But Effective Motivational Techniques for Teachers

Simple But Effective Motivational Techniques for Teachers

A great motivating activity that worked well for me as a teacher was to simply have a one-on-one discussion with each of the students.

Take a moment to sit and talk to one or more of them about life. Let them do the talking. Listen as they discuss the challenges and obstacles they face in everyday life. Listen as they talk about things that we as teachers may not know they face.

Encourage them to talk about their hopes, dreams, and goals. It will very quickly remind you how much you can help inspire and guide them. This discussion will reveal how badly they need you. When I did this with students I had, I kept thinking to myself as they were talking, “I can help with that!” It almost always got me motivated once again.

Another simple strategy that worked extremely well for me was to drive through the neighborhoods where some of my students lived. Choose a safe but challenging neighborhood and experience again, or for the first time, where your students are literally coming from.

Every once in a while, I would see a young child in the neighborhood while I was driving around. I would always wonder if that child knew that they were just as capable and deserving as any child anywhere. Seeing that child and seeing those circumstances usually helped reignite a spark in me that said, “Go back and work harder”. Another benefit of taking that drive was that it reminded me of how blessed my family and I are and caused me to want to pass on those blessings.

Lastly, remember that teachers are professionals. Every doctor, lawyer, business person, and all other professions got their start with a teacher.  I frequently hear fellow educators describe themselves by saying “Oh, I’m just a teacher.” Remember it all starts with teachers. Every hope, dream, and goal gets filtered through a teacher. You provide the tools to make those dreams come true. You have the power to encourage and enhance those dreams.  You have the power to be their greatest inspiration. Be that for all those that enter your classroom!

About the Author

Larry Bell, a Citadel graduate, is a 30+ year veteran in education. Fifteen of those years were spent as a classroom teacher where he was nominated for the National Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. As a teacher at Gar-field High School, a school with over 3,000 students speaking 36 different languages, Larry was recognized for his innovative classroom strategies that allowed his so called “Tough Kids” as well as his “Gifted and Talented” to excel!