5 Ways to Motivate Students in the Classroom

5 Ways to Motivate Students in the Classroom
Photo credit: Katherina Holmes

Motivating students to do well in school can be difficult. In fact, it's considered a universal problem among educators the world over: How do you get kids to care about their grades? We have some ideas. If you've ever felt like your classroom is lacking that extra oomph, we're here to help. Whether you're trying to inject more learning into your student's day-to-day lives or help them learn on their own time, here are five ways you can motivate students and create lifelong learners out of your entire class.

Encourage student participation in the classroom.

Encourage student participation in the classroom.

There's no doubt about it: full participation is a necessity for effective learning, and teachers should find ways to encourage it. Whether you're an experienced teacher or just starting out, here are some tips for encouraging student participation in the classroom:

  • Give students opportunities to share their ideas by asking questions and offering praise when they answer correctly.
  • Create an environment that makes students feel safe so they can participate without fear of embarrassment or failure (but not so comfortable as to lead them into slacking off).
  • Don't be afraid of using humour or silliness when appropriate; this will make your class more exciting and engaging for everyone involved--including you!

Get students involved in their own learning.

  • Help students set goals for themselves.
  • Help students reflect on their learning.
  • Help students evaluate their learning.
  • Reward them for a job well done, and make sure to include any extra credit opportunities that are available for the course!

Make sure there is something for every type of learner.

  • Students learn differently, and ensuring they have access to the tools they need to succeed is a great way to motivate them. The most common learning styles are visual, auditory and kinesthetic (body-related). Visual learners tend to prefer reading or listening over hands-on activities; auditory learners learn best by listening to lectures; kinesthetics prefers hands-on activities and group work. Classrooms should offer resources that cater to all three types of students if possible: textbooks are visual, while audiobooks can be used by auditory learners who need help with reading skills; group projects allow for participation from all learning styles at once

Use technology to create engaging lessons.

One of the best ways to motivate students is to make your lessons more engaging. You can do this by using technology in your classroom, such as:

  • Games and quizzes with multiple choice answers that give immediate feedback on correct answers and incorrect ones
  • Interactive whiteboards where students can interact with the board directly or with a computer mouse (you could also use a tablet or device)
  • PowerPoint presentations that allow for more interaction between teacher and student

Contribute to positive classroom culture.

  • Positive classroom culture is all about caring for students. A good teacher cares about their students’ feelings, needs, and ideas. They make sure their students are informed of the rules and procedures in class, such as how to ask questions or what happens if they get lost on the way to lunch. They also care about making sure each student has enough time to complete assignments, ask questions they might be embarrassed to ask in front of others or have any other issues that arise during class time addressed so they can focus on learning rather than worrying about anything else.
  • If you want your students' attention and focus on your class material (i.e., lesson), then you must set this example yourself first by being present with them at the moment; otherwise it will be difficult for them not only to listen but also understand what it is that we're trying to teach them."

Students need to feel invested and supported to succeed.

Students need to feel invested and supported to succeed.

When you ask your students what motivates them, they might say that it is the prospect of a good grade or getting out of the classroom early. But these are short-term motivators that do not always lead to long-term academic success. Furthermore, it is easy for students to see through this type of motivation and realize that they're being used as pawns in an elaborate game devised by teachers who want only their labour without any respect or recognition in return.

Students are often more motivated when they feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves—and this may just be your class! Encourage collaboration by creating teams on projects that challenge each student individually, involve them in decision-making at every stage (and listen carefully), offer feedback throughout the process, give credit where credit is due and celebrate successes together as a whole group or in small groups working together towards a common goal.

The best way to motivate students is to show them how much you care, and we hope these five strategies have helped you do just that! With the right skills, anyone can be an engaging teacher. You just need a little bit of creativity and some genuine motivation from your heart. By using these techniques, you can help your classroom become a space where everyone is excited about learning and ready for success.


Adiutor means "helper" - we do just that, by taking a load of your school administration and helping you focus on what matters most: the kids.