Are you motivated to motivate? How to keep students engaged

Are you motivated to motivate? How to keep students engaged

Staying motivated is difficult and keeping others motivated and engaged can be even more so! When teaching a class, you already know how important keeping students motivated and engaged is so I won’t tell you otherwise, instead I’ll lead you in the right direction by showing you these points that may help, some you might have heard already but others maybe not.  


Know your student’s names and use them often

Learning names is key and using their names correctly on a regular basis means more than you think. Knowing a person’s name makes them feel valued, it’s easier to approach someone and feel more comfortable when you know their name, make your students feel at ease as soon as possible.

Greeting at the door

A simple hello goes a long way. You might have seen those viral videos of teachers greeting their students at the door of the classroom with an individual handshake or action, you don’t have to have a long-winded approach to this, but it is good practice to welcome each student as they arrive for classes, it gives a sense of belonging and gives a positive start to the lesson.

Get to know students, build connections & incorporating their interests in classes

It’s so important to build a good relationship and connections with your students. How well do you really know your students? You might think you know a lot but why not dive deeper, find out their interests outside of classes, what’s their favourite film, TV programme, game? Think how you can use these interests and incorporate them into your classes. Showing genuine interest in your students will encourage them to feel more at ease during lessons and excited to talk to you when they see you, therefore ask questions about certain subjects and be excited to return to classes.


Should you be consistent & plan for every class what about improvising?

Yes, of course you should plan every class, a simple one that you probably already know, even if it’s just a general outline for your classes will help by letting the students know that you are a professional teacher and know what you’re doing. Be consistent with these plans and be prepared for classes, never improvise or ‘just wing it.’

Start and finish on time, be available and approachable before and after classes

Exactly what it says on the tin, start on time and finish on time, give your students a routine that they know will always be constant, help them to create good habits and to be punctual, you’ve heard the saying: “if you’re on time you’re already 5 minutes late.” As a teacher being available before and after is good practice, let’s call it the ’15-minute rule’ as a teacher, arrive 15 minutes before each class and stay and extra 15 minutes after class. Use this time to greet students as mentioned before. Create a safe, fun and welcoming environment which will in turn provide a positive environment for the lessons to begin. If any students have any questions, it’s great for them to be able to approach you before or after the class as they might not want to or be able to during classes.

Encourage questions

Questions, questions, questions, we all have them, being in that ‘why stage’ of life is such a great time, some people stay in it forever as they know that asking questions is always interesting and intriguing. Letting students ask questions that help them get involved is key to learning, encourage your students to ask questions. Ask – Answer – Repeat

A fun, friendly environment that shows enthusiasm

BE EXCITED! Show your enthusiasm before, during and after classes, laughter is infectious and so is happiness. You already have the knowledge to teach such essential lessons so why not have fun while doing so?

Smile and be excited when you speak

Similar to what has already been mentioned, when you’re having fun, your students will also be having fun, smile and show you are there to have fun.

A structured work/teaching space with no one left behind

Use your space wisely. Have you ever thought about teaching in a U-shape? Giving students chance to see everything and everyone in the class to encourage interaction and co-operation. If that’s not your style be sure to have either a teacher or experienced student stand towards the back of the training hall, so everyone gets a good chance to see how it’s done. Be sure to mix up how everyone is arranged so no one is left at the back and trailing behind.

Co-operation. Working, learning, growing together.

Everyone’s heard of the ‘buddy system’. Giving each student a chance to buddy up and work together can be useful in more ways than one, of course that is if they do work together and don’t just mess around which we all know is a possibility. More shy students will get to make new friends and that’s always a great outcome, be sure to offer support for those anxious and mix up groups so everyone can be used to meeting new people and create more friendships.

Clear, concise objectives. Varied experiences

In today’s lesson we’re going to learn about ‘this’ next week will be ‘that’ (Be clear and concise about what your objectives are going to be) however we’re going to learn this lesson different to normal. Think about how you can mix it up a little bit, vary your lessons to give different experiences each while reaching the end objective. Something different each time will keep students engaged and entertained while learning.

Goals, Rewards and Recognition

Creating their own attainable goals and giving praise when earned.

Goal setting, what are the goals you are setting for your students? How about letting them decide what they want to get out of your lesson, where do they see themselves and what do they want to gain from these lessons. Of course, help where needed but setting their own goals gives them responsibility over them. Publicise goals, if others are aware of goals, they are more likely to achieve that goal compared to when it’s kept a secret it will just be pushed aside.

Rewards that get noticed, what motivates your students?

Giving meaningful praise and rewards to students when earned helps to motivate them so much. Certificates, awards, stickers and general acknowledgement goes a long way!

Make sure you check out the Marketing Toolkit for useful resources such as certificates and much more. 

Using competition in a positive way to elevate students to want to become better and do their best. Let your students choose or talk about what they want to learn and get out of their journey, giving students responsibilities on goal setting and what they want to achieve, help them generate their own motivation. What motivates them? What do they value about classes and what do they want to get as an end goal from being at your school?

Do your students feel as if they have control on what they do, do they have any responsibilities?

Are your students being told what to do or are they involved in what’s happening, creating a safe space where students want to learn and having more responsibilities and a sense of control will make them more engaged and want to carry on learning in the long run.


Constructive feedback and student self-reflection

Giving effective constructive feedback to your students may sound obvious but how often do you actually do this? Tracking progress and grading (which is easily done via our myMA software) will help you and students reflect on where they started and where they’re going, are they going to reach their goals and when will they attain them? As much as giving feedback to your students how about asking them for feedback on your progress, what did they think of today’s lesson? How would they change it, if they would?

Social Media, Pop Culture

Social engagement, pop culture and student’s interest’s

Get students thinking about classes and wanting to be there when they’re not in class, use social media to both your students and your own advantage, NEST provide social media copy & paste campaigns included within your package that will help your content to engagement with students and prospects. What’s the latest trending song right now, can you use that? How about using pop culture like a new favourite film that’s relevant to your students. (Please do note a license to play certain music and films might be needed.)

That’s a lot to take in

Knowledge overload but there should be something here that you can use to help provide the best lessons to your students or something you’ve realised you have been doing the whole time in which case, well done!

Already a client? Check out the myMA toolkit: with a wide range of resources that make a big difference to how you run your business

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What do you think about these points, did it help you? Share this with someone that might need it and let’s grow together!

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