Why Do Students Lose Motivation?

teacher doing her lecture in a classroom of middle school students

Motivation is important to a student’s success and performance in class. If this begins to wane, they will show signs such as tardiness, disengaged looks during a lesson and poor test results. Once these appear, it is time to take action and get them motivated again.

Teachers from the top charter schools in Salt Lake City cite the following reasons a student loses motivation in class.

1. They don’t recognize the value of the lesson.

Even if a topic has value, if a student doesn’t it see it that way, he or she will disengage and lose motivation. They won’t participate in class and will underperform at tests and homework. As a teacher, you have to get them involved and engaged.

Some of the ways to do so are to connect the topic and program to their objectives, dreams, and interests. This allows students to connect what you teach them to their big picture plans when they move on to a higher level.

2. They don’t know how important hard work is.

A student that doesn’t believe their effort improves their test scores or class standing will likely disengage. This may happen if the lesson is difficult and that a student doesn’t fully grasp the concepts.

Your role here is to make the lessons as simple as possible. Make things interesting by telling a story or using symbols to make a hard problem understandable.

3. Poor reward structures seldom motivate.

Some students derive motivation from extrinsic rewards; they need recognition, medals, and others to thrive in the classroom. A poor reward structure may de-motivate such pupils in your class. If they see any semblance of unfairness in the way you treat them, their effort will wane.

Also, the amount of work you give and the potential points they will gain isn’t on the level they expect. Be fair in giving homework, extra credit, and tests. Treat and reward students equally so that they will stay engaged and motivated.

4. They find the lessons boring.

Some students may find the material boring because it is too difficult or they think that it is useless to them. In such cases, you need to make the lesson relevant and understandable. Stir their imagination by using different methods to teaching the subject.

Do role-playing to engage them, ask them to discuss among themselves, encourage questions, or use interactive tools to experience the lesson. Diversity keeps them engaged, listening, and motivated to attend class.

5. They are in an unsupportive classroom.

students in uniforms having an exam inside the classroom

A student needs to feel support to stay motivated. If ever they feel unsafe or unsupported in the classroom, they will see no point of performing well or listening to the teacher. Change this perception by paying attention to their questions and concerns.

Solve problems as they happen and be fair when handing out punishments or rewards. Include everyone in discussions; if you see someone left out, make it a point to have them join.

These are some of the reasons a student’s effort wanes, and they start to disengage and lose motivation. Avoid these situations by communicating with your students, being fair, and providing them with a consistent reward structure, just to name a few.

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