What is “motivation” and why is it
Motivation is “WANTING to learn”
• Motivated pupils work harder and learn
• Studies show that pupils who lose
motivation usually get bad
grades, participate less in class and have
problems with behaviour.
• Pupils who are NOT motivated will usually
distract other pupils, so they do not feel
“alone” in the classroom.
What affects motivation?
Motivation is DIRECTLY related to selfesteem. If a pupil doesn’t feel
confident, they won’t feel motivated!
Pupils need to be ENGAGED in class. Don’t
talk AT them, talk WITH them. Involve them
in the lessons!
There are many things, such as
family, friends, health and other school
work, that influence a pupil’s motivation.
These things are outside our control. We
CAN control how the students feel in OUR
Use the evaluation sheets to give your students
feedback on what they have learned. Spending
one minute talking to a pupil to let them know
that we SEE them can make a huge difference.
When pupils have something to show to their
parents that makes them look good, students
become happier. Most parents reward positive test
scores in one way or another, and this increases
pupils’ motivation to continue doing well
Pupils feel a sense of personal accomplishment
when receiving high scores. The evaluation sheets
do not ask pupils for too much because the
designers of the book understand this. The series
was designed to not only teach English, but make
pupils ENTHUSIASTIC about learning English.
Use visual storytelling to keep
your pupils engaged. The
“comic-book” style stories allow
students to understand a great
amount of information, even
when they only have a small
amount of language to use
• Also, using Acting activities in
class promotes “Full Body
Learning,” which is
EXTREMELY important for
young children. Acting gives
children an opportunity to “be
someone else,” to get up and
move, to laugh, to be
creative and to practice
language from class.
We need to use games to keep our kids interested.
Children love playing games, and we should use that
active, creative energy to help them learn.
“Our Discovery Island” is FULL of games and activities
that do exactly that! We want to ENGAGE the kids.
Having them just sit and translate text, or just read a
book isn’t good enough for us. We want to use all the
natural resources that come part and parcel with
Games also help develop children’s logical and thinking
skills, helping them not only in our own classroom, but
in all others.
Every game MUST have educational
merit, though, games which exist only to “kill time” are
NOT welcome in the classroom. The aim is to make
learning fun, not to have fun instead of learning.
Shouting at the students doesn’t help anything. The teacher loses control of the
situation, the child who is being shouted at feels horrible, and all the other
children then feel terrified. Teaching children is one of the biggest tests of
patience known to man, but we CANNOT fail that test. The people who suffer are
the children, as a dislike of the teacher soon becomes dislike of the subject.
Many teachers like to give rewards, these are usually sweets, chocolates, gold stars, etc.
While the student who is receiving an award feels great, EVERY OTHER student suddenly
feels like they have failed to achieve something. We need to stop giving rewards and
include EVERYONE in the praise, not only the single top-performer.
Some teachers try to motivate students by making every second of every lesson fun. The
problem with this is that they forget to include EDUCATION into their lessons. Lessons
SHOULD be fun, but it is only a temporary fix to a motivation problem. Students need
support, structure, fun, achievement and work to feel truly motivated.
Don’t call children names like “stupid,” “lazy,” “slow,” “bad” or
“horrible.” Merton, an educational sociologist, defined a “self fulfilling
prophecy.” This means that when we label students, our label affects
their behavior and performance. Children who are told they are
stupid often perform more poorly in tests and in class after being
given their label.
We cannot show favourites in class. As teachers, our public motto must
be “All of my students are equal.” While you and I know that we are only
human, and we DO have our favourites, we MUST NOT let this be seen
by any of the students. The “favourites” feel highly motivated, while the
others feel like hard work is useless, because they’ll never be noticed
There are moments when the
teacher’s motivation goes down. This
As teachers we have to deal with the
administration in our schools, our
students, the students’ parents and
our own personal lives. This is A
LOT! It is HARD!
In those moments where I don’t feel
motivated, I try to think of what my
students are seeing when they look
at me. Then I think of a lesson
where I was REALLY motivated, and
compare what my students saw
then, and what they see now.
Say NO! There are times when our
families, administrators, students and students’ parents ask
us to a million things at the same time. It is OKAY to say no.
Your students will benefit because of it.
If the problem is your personal life, close the door on it. Don’t
let it into the classroom. As teachers, we don’t have the
luxury of being able to have “a bad day at work”. We have to
separate our lives from our work. This is DIFFICULT, but our
students can’t suffer because of that.