Motivation

Right now I’m supposed to be writing a syllabus for 6 months of Business English. Clearly I am not doing so. I am procrastinating. This post is about motivation.

 

I have read quite a lot about motivation, thanks to the friendly blogosphere and all the lurking I do on Twitter. Most teaching blogs on motivation are about learner motivation by much more talented writers than me.

 

But what does a teacher do when s/he comes to school and just does not want to work? Obviously, s/he has to do it whether s/he wants to or not. How do you avoid passing on a demotivated mood to your students? I have some ideas:

 

1. Fake it. Yes, I know. The students can tell. But they can also tell that you are trying. Which one of them has never come to class in an unmotivated mood? Faking it models a response teachers hope to get from their students.

 

2. Coffee and sugar. I’m not kidding. A few weeks ago I asked my friends on Facebook: What motivates you? One of them answered, “Coffee”. And she’s absolutely right. An extra caffeine kick (or a piece of candy) can do a lot to raise flagging energy. If it doesn’t work in fact, it makes the faking it easier.

 

3. Move around. A bit of movement and exercise can liven up both teacher and students as well and set the tone for a fun, interactive class.

 

4. Get student input. Sometimes when I don’t feel much like teaching, I ask the students what they want to learn. It’s a lot easier to fake it when the students cooperate and they’re more likely to cooperate when they direct the lesson.

 

5. And remember: time only goes one way at one speed. The trick is not to watch it tick by. The sooner I start, the sooner I will be finished. Getting wrapped up in the class, the lesson, the students helps to pass the time.

 

I know what I need now: lollipop!

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