Motivating Students Begins With The Instructor


While participating in the Illinois Adult and Continuing Education Association state conference, the i-Pathways team attended a session on Engagement and Motivation and Attention, Oh My! presented by Stephanie Woodley and Jennifer Stringfellow from Eastern Illinois University.

The following motivational checklist was shared during the session. Check it out. How many of these bulleted statements fit your teaching style? What would you add?

To motivate my students:

  • I show enthusiasm for my subject and for teaching.
  • I communicate high expectations to my students.
  • I avoid sarcasm and put-downs.
  • I listen carefully in order to understand my students’ concerns.
  • When students have been absent I let them know they were missed.
  • I connect students’ current knowledge and skills to new learning.
  • I treat all students equally and fairly.
  • I make positive comments when responding to student work.
  • I communicate clear learning outcomes for students.
  • I use well-designed, open-ended questions to promote critical thinking skills.
  • I use visuals (overhead transparencies, models, videos) with lectures to stimulate interest.
  • I use brainstorming at the beginning of a lesson to get students involved.
  • I encourage students to apply what they have learned to situations outside the class.
  • I wait 5 seconds after I ask a question before I call on a student.

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