Remember John Keating of Dead Poets Society and Ram Shankar Nikumbh of Taare Zameen Par? What made them such endearing and inspirational characters was that both were motivated teachers. They not only showed a great zeal for the profession but also tapped into the inner psychological needs of the students by assuming the role of an ally. They identified, vitalized, and developed human qualities like intelligence and creativity, and relational capacities such as love and friendship in their students.
Inculcates a Growth Mindset
While students walk into a classroom with a host of latent potential, a motivated teacher enters with a growth mindset. They know that every learner can grow. To label them as ‘slow’ or ‘dull’, would be to limit their possibilities for growth and progress. In a task, when students experience difficulty, the teacher encourages them to view the problem differently or use a different strategy for solving it. When learners receive the right support and guidance, their performance improves and they attain their true potential. By employing a growth mindset in the classroom to teach, the teacher models it to the students, who later imbibe this outlook to other realms of life.
Stimulates Student Motivation
It is essential for teachers to adapt teaching strategies that invite the participation and curiosity of the students. A motivated teacher uses real-life scenarios and makes lessons enjoyable, relevant, meaningful, and stimulating. This is an effective way to capture and keep a student’s attention and interest. They encourage students to think beyond their scores and view learning as a continuous process.
Uses Supportive Language
“I have noticed that you are being aloof in the class. You are not following the lessons of late. Do you want to share what is bothering you, so we can work out to find a solution?”
This is one of the many conversations an inspired teacher has with the students. They use unprejudiced, adaptable, and constructive language while reaching out to their students. This gives a sense of autonomy to the pupils in selecting and taking part in an activity.
Successful teachers recognize that deep learning takes time and requires painstaking effort. They view themselves and their students as co-explorers in this journey. They motivate their students as they investigate different parts of a topic, set learning goals for themselves, make mistakes, and start over. Students who learn with such teachers show high classroom engagement, improved attendance, strong conceptual knowledge, better grades, and emotional, mental and physical well-being.
Shows Acceptance and Understanding
Motivated teachers are aware of a student’s struggle with inner motivation and behavioral problems. A student may express them in forms of abrupt sulking, irritation, agitation, and repulsion. They understand the importance of addressing a student’s inner conflicts, as these conflicts may stand in the way of a student’s learning opportunities if left unaddressed. They investigate such behavior to pin down whether it is a reaction to confusing lessons, restricting the environment of the school, baffling rules, imposed demands, lack of harmony between classmates, or dysfunctional family background. By respecting and embracing all such emotions, teachers can provide motivational support to their students.
Motivated teachers have immense power to influence the learning process of their students. They show enthusiasm in the learning process and create conditions under which learners can motivate themselves. This way, they empower the personal autonomy of the students. When students learn with such teachers, they approach their work with greater enthusiasm, passion, and commitment. They believe that their success is their own doing. They feel excited about learning, sense safety, and know that with the effort they can learn and succeed.
Tomorrowsmith Foundation’s Inspire program works towards igniting motivation in the teachers for the profession. Learn more about the program here.
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