When your children lose interest in learning, you may find yourself wondering how you’re ever going to get them excited and motivated again. These tips will help you get them fired up and back on track!
Be passionate about your teaching. Even if you’re having a bad day, be expressive, smile and put excitement into your voice. Laughter, colour and music are great motivators – use them liberally.
Change the scenery. Take dull, stagnant kids out of their usual learning area to breathe some fresh air and pump up their brains and bodies with oxygen. Outside games, even visits to a library for research, will break the stalemate.
Children thrive if you show genuine interest in them. Get to know their special passions or talents and relate these to their lessons. Give lots of examples that include their unique interests, as well as real-life events. Even better, turn the examples into fun, stimulating games. Again, using bright colours, movement or music make learning fun.
Create a safe, supportive environment for children to express themselves, and use lots of positive reinforcement. Most learners love talking and all children want to be heard. Encourage your learners to express their ideas and opinions, and to answer questions, even if they are incorrect. Make the focus more on the process of learning and less on being right.
Praise learners. By constantly giving praise and positive feedback, you will show learners that they are valued and that you believe in their abilities. In this way, you will build up their strengths and help them to overcome their weaknesses. Children learn through praise, not criticism.
Expect excellence. Children love to excel at tasks and you can instil in them a desire to “reach for the stars”, while keeping their feet (and yours) on the ground. Make sure all expectations are achievable.
When goals are achieved or a learner has excelled, celebrate! The jury is still out on whether one should give learners rewards, so if you’re an advocate of rewarding, you could always come up with some small but innovative prizes. Novelty shops are a great source for fun prizes. When in doubt, displaying good work in the learning area always demonstrates your recognition of their excellence.
Plan your lessons in advance. To keep learners’ concentration alive, allow for only 20 minutes of instruction, and always let kids know what the goal of each lesson is. This way, there’s no falling asleep and kids know what to aim for. Children are more motivated when they know what is expected of them.
A variety of teaching methods not only caters for all types of learners but makes lessons inspiring and interesting. You can use digital resources, demonstrations, discussions, case studies, games, music, craftwork or whatever other methods keep your kids eager and engaged.
Learners take their cue from their teachers. So be vigilant about your own attitude, your voice, your body language, your movements and facial expression. And make all your instructions clear and easy to understand.