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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Articles for Teachers

Teaching Tips to Motivate Children in the Classroom
By:Jennifer Dobson

The problem with motivating students is a far-reaching one that even the most seasoned educators sometimes have trouble with. No matter what age group your teaching or how large your class is there always seems to be at least one student who isn't exactly motivated to learn. Becoming an effective teacher requires that you motivate your students, and many times a student will work harder for a teacher that she likes than she will for a teacher that she doesn't like. And although it is not your duty to make your students like you, it is important that the students respect and trust you before they will be motivated to perform for you. So how does one gain this illusive respect that is necessary to motivate students in the classroom, and just how can respect and trust be useful in becoming an effective teacher?

Employing the Use of Humor in the Classroom

Students enjoy humor in the classroom, and when using humor correctly, it can have an exceptional influence on your students. And while a teacher should never put a child "down" for any purpose, gentle and humorous nagging or reproaching can sometimes turn around the student who is misbehaving faster and easier than reprimanding them verbally. For instance, if Tommy is talking out of turn or being disruptive, saying something like, "Okay, Sir Talks Too Much, how about getting back to work?" will be better than "Close your mouth and get focused!" The student will not only respect the teacher for not causing him to get embarrassed in front of his friends, but his classmates will appreciate a "joke" that might lighten the mood for the whole room.

Respect for the Student

Respect is not given, it is earned. You may have heard this a million times, but it is definitely true when it comes to teaching. Respect is not a one-way street, but requires all parties to participate. Students must respect their teachers and teachers must respect their students; it really is that simple. Students must always be addressed by name and in a manner that is respectful, never in an angry tone that can brunt the dignity of the child. Many teachers expect children to be well-mannered, but sometimes they forget their own manners. Convey your respect to your students by using the magic words you learned in kindergarten or earlier, "please" and "thank you". According to author of The First Days of School (2004), Harry Wong, teachers are either invitational or dis-invitational. An invitational teacher is one that is inviting, that strives to let the student know how important they are as a human being, saying things like "You can do it, I have faith in you!" Dis-invitational teachers make a student feel unimportant and small, saying things like "You never have your homework assignment!" As you might imagine, an invitational-style teacher makes learning fun and her students may sometimes feel like the sky is the limit. Do your best to be an invitational teacher and you will have a classroom filled with motivated learners that respect you and trust you - and the feeling will be mutual.

Jennifer Dobson is an early childhood educator and she invites you to visit her favorite online teacher supply store, www.MPMSchoolSupplies.com, where you can get everything from bulletin board trimmers to a bulletin board set. Visit MPMSchoolSupplies.com today and save 10% on your first order!

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