It may feel like an endless battle trying to convince students to do their homework, study for exams and quit procrastinating. It can be tempting to nag, yell and punish to motivate students to get the job done. However, there are other ways of motivating students to perform well in school. Encouragement may be a better way to help your student stay motivated. Here are a few ways you can encourage students.
1.) Offer Verbal Praise
Verbal praise may sound too simple, but teenagers secretly crave acceptance and acknowledgment, just like everyone else. The more you can recognize and offer praise for good behaviors and performance, the more students will want to do well in order to receive it.
Go beyond praising your student for a good score on an exam. Offer words of encouragement when you see your student using good study habits, organizational skills or working on projects before they are due. Just rewarding them for the good outcome does nothing to support them as they do the hard work to achieve that outcome.
2.) Reward Good Habits
Rewards are another good way to offer students recognition. Avoid only handing out rewards for a good report card. Reward good habits as well. If you noticed your student missed a fun event with friends to stay home and study, offer to order something special for dinner when they are done. Showing students the good habits they develop and the sacrifices they make pay off will help those habits stick for life. Recognizing their extra effort will help them feel noticed and encouraged.
3.) Write a Note
TeachHub suggests writing short notes on post-its. You can write a quick note that tells your student you know how hard they have been working. Tuck it into their bag so they find it later in the day. This can be especially helpful if your student is feeling anxious about a big exam. Writing a note before the big exam or project shows your student that you recognize the process as well as the product. This will boost their confidence and make their preparation feel worth their while.
Include Encouragement Everyday
These methods of encouragement are simple and easy to implement in everyday life. It doesn’t take much to show your student that you care and that you think they can succeed. Offering encouragement can go a long way toward motivating your student to do their best in all areas of their life.
San Mateo SAT Prep
Mr. Test Prep has been a part of the San Mateo SAT Prep community for nearly 20 years. His experience working with students—from math wizzes to numberphobes, from novelists-in-training to kids who hate to read—has shown him that improving test results first requires improving a student’s confidence. To directly address this important facet of SAT prep, his tutoring program exposes students to the conditions of the test, while training them in subject-specific skills and teaching them testing strategies that can make the test much easier.