Motivation is huge in succeeding in academic achievement as well as in many other aspects of life. A person without motivation is unlikely to even survive. To make your job easier as a teacher and to really serve your students’ futures, you should try to encourage self-motivation.

According to Jeanne Ormrod, motivation has several effects:

  • It directs behavior toward particular goals.
  • It leads to increased effort and energy in pursuit of those goals.
  • It increases initiation of and persistence in certain activities, even in the face of occasional obstacles and interruptions.
  • It affects cognitive processes, such as what learners pay attention to and how much they think about and elaborate on academic content.
  • It determines which consequences are reinforcing and punishing


The graph above shows many different TARGETS to help encourage self-motivation. Listed below are some of my personal favorites. First is to use authentic activities during learning. If a skill that you are teaching has a practical application, especially one that can be used outside of school or later in life, apply that skill to that activity. If students know how various skills that they are learning will apply to life, they are more likely to learn them and remember them.

Creating a community of learners who feel respected and supported is another great way to help motivate students. If a child feels comfortable and knows that he or she will be supported and encouraged, that child will be more likely to try and to engage. Feelings of success will also help motivate a student. Allowing him or her to track academic progress in visual ways will provide that feeling of success and focuses achievement on one’s self instead of in comparison to classmates.

I rely on my class to help create a positive learning environment. I encourage student choice, collaboration, and peer and self accountability. I use a classroom economy and recognition to help students succeed in motivating themselves. My room is also a safe space where everyone is welcome and respected.



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