student self motivation

4 Ways to Cultivate Motivation in Your Students

Student self-motivation is, perhaps, the Holy Grail of teaching.  In fact, the hardest days of teaching are when your students don't care. In those circumstances, we start to wonder if we should care either. For example, have you heard some teachers complaining when student motivation is missing:

“My students never study.”

“My students just don't care.”

“They don't want to be here.”

Sadly, I've said these things before too. When you hear these -Over the long term, you can't motivate someone else. You can help a person tap into their own energy so they can motivate themselves.- Larry Ferlazzowords, if your students act like they don't care — THEY DON'T!!! Take these words as alarm bells to act.

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When apathy happens, it is incredibly important that YOU care whether they care.

Unleashing student motivation is far simpler and far more expensive than you might think. Simple, because you have to care. Expensive, because it costs you your heart.

Along these lines, Larry Ferlazzo shares four simple keys to unleashing self-motivation.  I won't give up hope and you don't need to either. But I promise you, after 15 years of teaching, we all reach a point where we realize we must change direction and connect with the learners just a little better.

Teachers need to lead with their ears instead of their mouths.

When you're lagging or flagging, this show is one you'll want to listen to so that you may get back up and care so you can help your students care, too. Unleash student motivation. You can do it!

[callout]Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes [/callout]

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Show Notes:

  • There are 4 key elements that help unleash student self-motivation:
    • Autonomy: A voice in what and how being down.
    • Relationship: What they are doing helps build a relationship with someone they like or respect
    • Relevant: Something they do is connecting to their hopes and dreams.
    • Competence: They are capable of doing what they're being asked to do.
  • We talk about intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.
  • What is cognitive choice and how we can we give it to our students? Larry gives examples with cognitive choice as it relates to homework and classroom learning. Larry also relates cognitive choice to metacognition.
  • Kristy Cooper's research Eliciting Engagement in the High School Classroom: A Mixed-Methods Examination of Teaching Practices from April 2014 American Education Research Journal.
  • What can teachers do to have a great relationship with students?
  • Larry also shares the best way to give advice.
  • Feedback in Schools by John Hattie
  • Larry Ferlazzo relates Professor Carol Dweck's research about how we give feedback in the classroom. Larry loves creating situations where they create their own feedback.
  • Larry explains the “plussing strategy” which came from Pixar about how you comment on people's work.
  • How do we make our topic relevant without demotivating kids who struggle?
  • Larry's book: Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers to Classroom Challenges

Who is Larry Ferlazzo?

Larry Ferlazzo began teaching in 2003 after working as a community organizer for nearly twenty years. An award-winning English and Social Studies teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif., Larry is the author of Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere