Ministry of Education, Guyana

How to Motivate Uninterested Students

Though teachers face numerous challenges, one of the most difficult ones is the unmotivated student. This is because there are a variety of reasons that a student may be unmotivated, and trying to figure out which one it may be can be a daunting task. However, there are ways to attempt a counteract on this lack of motivation. With a little patience, some conventional and unconventional thinking and a lot of perseverance, teachers can find and implement ways to encourage and inspire students to become more motivated.

How to motivate

  1. Make the students feel welcome by creating a classroom atmosphere that emphasizes effort instead of achievement. Encourage participation and risk taking. Let the student know that the classroom is a safe place and that it is okay to get incorrect answers.
  2. Attempt to find out what may be causing the lack in motivation. Find out if there are problems at home, school or both that may be causing the child to be distracted. See if the child has psychological or mental issues that hinder the child's ability to grasp the information or stay focused.
  3. Care for the student. Share struggles that you have encountered as a student and mistakes that you have made. Ask the student what her/his goals are and what she/he plans to do in the future. Establish good rapport with the student by remaining personable and approachable.
  4. Help increase the student's self-esteem by rewarding positive behavior instead of criticizing the student. Continue rewarding the positive behavior of the student so that the child will continue to repeat this behavior.
  5. Maintain high levels of energy and be enthusiastic while presenting information. Use positive emotions and challenge the student. Give the student choices to develop her/his confidence. Teach problem solving skills and allow the student to conduct self-evaluation and self-monitoring.


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