The following guest post was written by Toby Rothstein Gruber, Eye On Education's Director of Professional Services and the moderator of Eye On Education's professional development webinars.
It’s a New Year and time to recharge! As a former teacher, I always took this opportunity to reset expectations and implement new strategies. Eye On Education aired a webinar on Student Motivation and Classroom Management with Larry Ferlazzo on December 14. For those who missed it, you can view it on-demand. Strategies for building intrinsic motivation were discussed and our participants had lots to contribute. Thank you to our attendees for sharing innovative and practical tips about how they motivate their students. Here are 15 tips to get your students motivated in the New Year!
• Praise effort!
• I LOVE a lesson based on celebrating mistakes!
• Create circumstances for students to recognize their own progress.
• In my classroom we don't have rules - we have rights and responsibilities
• Call parents! It's important to not only call parents for bad behavior but also for praise of good behavior - especially if it is a student who is typically difficult but has done something good. Even my gang member parents loved the "your kid was awesome" call.
• When talking with parents remember Unity Criticism Unity. Sandwich negative behavior with two positive things.
• If a student is overly disruptive, ignore them and keep tick marks of how many disruptions they make. Then discuss with the student after class, "Today you disrupted the class x amount of times. What's going on? Don't you want others to succeed?"
• I tell my students "If you want to learn today move to the front. If you don't want to learn or don't care just move to the back and find something to do quietly. Let other students learn.”
• I offer tutoring to my students and once every week or two and I offer "math and muffins" where I bring in doughnuts and juice and offer a more relaxed environment to teach math but it also allows me to learn more about my students.
• When students misbehave have them write a letter home about it.
• Catch them being good and praise them for it.
• Write a letter to your challenging students asking them why they act out.
• A communication journal is a wonderful tool between students and teachers.
• When you do cooperative learning, try assigning students a role that he/she can be successful in doing.
I’d like to leave you with one last tip by a very wise participant: If you sweat the small stuff, so do the students! We set the example!
Best of luck in the new year!