Friday, December 2, 2011


Motivation: What is the key?

How many learning coaches encounter frustration when working with students? The feeling of anxiety and overall anger as to the hopelessness of trying to motivate an unmotivated child. There are different theories and strategies that can help assist in the process of learning which could be the key to understanding the frustration of a child and the emotional stress of learning.

In my opinion as an educator, here are my three suggestions to motivating a child to learn. First, understand the learning styles and multiple intelligences in which a child learns. I believe that understanding their strengthens in learning will assist any teacher or learning coach to differentiate instruction and make their educational journey individualized. Keeping the individual in mind, we can gear instruction toward their strengthens that will have a positive effect on their self-esteem.

Second, learning needs to be an active process so engagement should be a priority for students. Using emerging technologies or just taking content off the page and into a hands on experience will keep the mind of a student thinking and looking for ways to solve problems. Don't give students all the answers as we need them to make steps to be a self-directed thinker! Making sure that students take the steps in their education should also help build that self-esteem. As learning coaches I know you feel a huge amount of pressure during the day to complete lessons; however, a student should be a part of this process. Showing students the benefits of being self-directed will only engage the students even more.

Finally, making sure that the focus of learning is not just academic, but for the whole child. Students go through many changes in their lives and we must make sure there is focus on mental and emotional growth of a child. Their feelings are just as important as learning to read since a child will form connections with the content their are reading. If a student is frustrated, acknowledge that frustration and don't just play it down. When math is difficult, acknowledge that difficulty but also encourage to keep working through frustration. Not completing a content of study because of frustration will only make the stress of that content of study even greater. With ensuring the growth of the whole child, it will again strengthen the self-esteem of a child and want them to try harder in their learning.

As you can see, I have three strategies to help motivate a child but the overall theme to learning is building a child's self-esteem! Once a student has confidence in themselves, there is nothing that will hold them back:) What are your thoughts, feelings, or comments on motivating a child? Sharing your thoughts with our community will build our bank of strategies:)