Motivating Your Students
Student recognition in the classroom is a necessity to keep students working their hardest. It becomes easy to overlook the student who is always doing what is expected, and to always notice the child who is misbehaving. But, consciously recognizing students as they achieve great things is vital to motivating children throughout their school career.
Think about the last time you were praised by your superior. How did it feel? Did you remember whether or not you smiled? Were you then more likely to continue working at that specific something in order to improve it even more? I know I am always grateful when my boss takes notice of something special I have been working on. Make sure your students also have these too-rare experiences. Without them, they are less likely to continue working as hard. Children, in particular, work to please you. Intrinsic motivation only goes so far in school, until extrinsic motivators (positive or negative) take over. Make sure you create those positive choices in each child's frame of reference.
Take a class roster quickly this week and start noting what talent(s) each child is particularly good at, or has been working extra hard at accomplishing. At first, the list will be easy - you always have shining stars. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will also easily be able to jot down how behavior students have made strides at certain things because they tend to take up so much of your time. But, the middle-of-the-road students become more challenging. These are the students you want to zone in on because they are the students that typically get overlooked. They are not star students, but they also are not time-consuming behavior issues either. You may really have to work hard throughout the week to notice talents that you may have not seen before.
By focusing in on all students, you will have a complete list of subjects or talents from which to recognize each individual in your class. You can then make it be a special awards day, complete with a party. Or do something simple like make a call home or send a note. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, every student will feel special and continue to want to please. Extrinsic or intrinsic, as long as they feel good, that is all that matters.
Charity L. Preston is an author, teacher, and parent. Most importantly, she is an educator in all roles. The ability to teach someone something new is a gift that few truly appreciate. Visit her now at http://www.theorganizedclassroomblog.com or at her facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/TheOrganizedClassroomBlog to sign up for a free newsletter that offers free downloadable classroom resources every month delivered right to your inbox! Check it out now!