How to motivate students to learn?

Motivation is a part of each lesson and every teacher, trainer and instructor has been taught how to do it. Nevertheless, there are very few persons who can motivate others to learn. Try to remember your personal situation. How many teachers of all you have had, managed to motivate you to learn and to work so that you might accomplish your plans. Not only teachers must know how to motivate others, but also parents, leaders, priests, etc. If motivation is missing, those who have to learn will not learn, and those who have to work will not work. That’s why it is so important to follow this useful advice to motivate others better.

Explain the benefits

The greatest and the most powerful way one can motivate a person is by letting him know the benefits he is going to have from this activity. One who acknowledges the benefits is stimulated and one who doesn’t acknowledge them is inhibited, and the process of any activity is slower. Pupils and students have to know how they are going to benefit from the result of their effort to learn. The King Solomon who wrote the Book of Proverbs begins it by presenting these benefits. He says:

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, a wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. (Proverbs 1:1–6)(NASB)

Warn about the consequences of disobedience

We are motivated when we acknowledge the benefits, but we are also motivated when we acknowledge the dangers that may come in our life if we don’t listen and follow the advice of those who motivate us correctly. That’s why, it is important to make those whom we want to motivate acknowledge the dangers and the consequences. When parents send their child to school, it is important to tell him/her learn and what are going to be the benefits of his learning, but they have also to explain the consequences if he/she doesn’t learn. Here is how wise Solomon does this when he warns the readers of the Book of Proverbs about the influence of the wicked:

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. For their feet run to evil and they hasten to shed blood. Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net in the sight of any bird; but they lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors. (Proverbs 1:10, 16–19)(NASB)

Keep on telling the benefits and the warnings

Every person needs to be motivated and warned permanently, especially while being a child, a teenager and a young person. A very powerful example in this regard is the same book of the Proverbs of Solomon that starts every new subject and almost evey chapter with a powerful motivation and ends up with a warning about the consequences of disobedience. Who has read this book at least once can easily notice the truth I have just told you about and will use them to motivate others. But it is also very important to present these benefits and warnings in various ways, otherwise, no person is going to be motivated. Solomon is an example of varied motivation.

Be aware of the facts the diminish the motivation

There are some facts that affect the correct motivation of every age and every group of people. For example, children want to play more than to learn. Then, when they are teenagers, friends that do not have any motivation and any reason in life are this fact, and they try to call them away from the right direction. Parents, teachers, trainers, and all those who make effort to teach these children, teenagers or young people have to know and understand the facts that affect the correct motivation and to do their utmost to keep the correct motivation of the students and pupils.

Personal example is a powerful fact of motivation

Maybe we can say it is the most powerful fact. For many times people don’t believe they can accomplish something until they see that someone has already accomplished it. If the one who managed it is their teacher, they will do their utmost to accomplish the same purpose, no matter how difficult they can be. If the teacher believes from all his heart that disciples will fulfill their purpose, then this trust of the teacher encourages and motivates them more. And inversely.

I had the joy to teach and to train some teenagers who were considered the worst at school and some of them were sent away from school with a simple paper, that could not help them study in any other institution. I found out that a great number of teachers from school kept on telling them they were incapable and they had no chance to succeed in future. It took me much time to convince them I saw a great potential in them, and when I convinced them they did their utmost, so that all of them became champions of the country in sports, and some of them became European and world champions. Almost all of them began to learn in other educational institutions, and how happy I was to see their high grades at those institutions. Today they are good family men, people who invest their lives for others and most of them became teachers and trainers. What would have happened if they had remained with their first “motivation”?

Don’t make the one who learns lose his/her hope because of some failures

The process of learning implies mistakes, errors, etc. If the teacher mentions and concentrates on failures more than on success, the student is descouraged and loses the motivation to learn and thinks he is incapable to learn that subject, or even worse, incapable to learn any subject. The teacher who is a good motivator will always encourage his disciples, mentioning his success. He will also present his student’s failures but in a positive way, that encourages: “You do good this, this and this, but you also have to learn that and that thing and then you will know the subject and apply it perfectly.”

May God help us understand how great the value of correct motivation is and motivate our students at learning, good deeds and wise choises.

Translated by Felicia Djugostran