English: the best way(s) to motivate high school students
English: the best way(s) to motivate high school students
During my high school years I can reflect on the times when motivation filled my heart after seeing hocks to sentences on my English essay assignments denoting that they were excellently constructed. Below at the script’s end my subject teacher would always place an encouraging compliment such as ‘great job! Continue the excellent work.’ This emotional excitement would extend throughout the week as I read and re-read these essays congratulating myself on a being an above average student.
When these essays are shown to my parents the compliments accompanying them also fill heart their hearts with alacrity as they hug me in confirming my achievements. Insidiously, the best way(s) of motivating high school students to complete their classes successfully, with a sense of accomplishment and pride is by complimenting their great work without prejudice and not such excellent accomplishment with empathetic encouragement.
Alternatively, I was never as great at mathematics as English language. Most of my assignment carried zero to problems which had the wrong answers. Importantly there were no compliments except then words, ‘see me.’ Always, I was paralyzed by fear of the rebuke that would accompany my interview. They were almost always derogatory. Consequently, I never excelled in mathematics and left high school feeling that the potential for me to excel in this subject was nonexistent. However, when I attended college and my professor realized that fear cause me to hate mathematics and ultimately failed in the subject. Interestingly, my grades were equally excellent as in English Language. The demoralizing feeling subsided (Berliner, 2009).
Factors, which influence high school students’ success/failure
in the twenty-first century
Based on my reflection even though there have been immense changes in the school system and advocates for students’ rights it would appear that in the twenty-first century high school classroom teachers may find it more difficult influencing students’ academic success. In my opinion apart from commending them for excellent and not so excellent work the greatest motivating factors is when student can visualize a role model in a teacher’s character. Youths in the American society lack positive role models. We must face the fact that some children who attain high school level emerge from dysfunctional families (Berliner, 2009).
Many of them are raised either by single parents or in foster homes where basic love manifestations may be absent or limited. Teenagers desire to be cuddled by parents; embraced by siblings and peers as well as validated by teachers not just through words, but more importantly, demonstrations of integrity. Incidentally, some high school youths spend more time at school interacting with peers and teachers than parents at home (Berliner, 2009).
Consequently, society has the responsibility of more than providing a school environment with teachers, curriculum and rules regulating relationships between/among students, teachers and peers. Precisely, factors, which influence high school students’ success/failure in the twenty-first century, embody a balance between/among school, home and social environment outside of school with which the high school student is sandwiched. Importantly, it is an holistic approach towards molding youths academically, socially, morally and spiritually. Social psychologists contend that human personality consists of three components of the self mainly spiritual, social and physical. Success/failure in life depends on how articulate individuals are in balancing the three for growth (Shaffer, 2005).
Ways to motivate high school students to be successful.
Dr. Catherine Robertson (2013) advocated that Motivating Students can be achieved through applying teaching techniques that establish relevance and promote autonomy. This academic advances that low achievement is associated with lack of motivation. Consequently, three significant features were highlighted in establishing relevance and promoting autonomy. They included requesting that students selecting a topic from their text. Subsequently, they were responsible for teaching the class based on their research explaining data gathered on the subject (Robertson, 2013).
Next it was asking students how they felt about the syllabus. As a follow though they were then allowed to select the topics which were most difficult to understand. These topics were designed as lecture discussion sessions with student participation clarifying areas of difficulty. Thirdly, students were assigned personal statement projects regarding class/course experiences. This exercise gave them an opportunity to both identify and express their strengths as well as weaknesses. Ultimately, requests for addressing those weaknesses were tendered and addressed (Balduf, 2009)).
Research on this methodology revealed that the approach was beneficial to both the teacher and high school student. Significantly the student became an integral part of his/her learning process. The teacher served an effective facilitator rather than a distant education profile situated in a classroom environment. Insidiously, the best way(s) of motivating high school students to complete their classes successfully, with a sense of accomplishment and pride is by complimenting their great work without prejudice and not such excellent accomplishments with empathetic encouragement.
Balduf, M. (2009) Underachievement among College Students. J. Adv. Academics, 20 (2), 274-294.
Berliner, D. (2009). Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success.
Education Public Interest Center (EPIC). University of Colorado.
Robertson, K. (2013). Motivating Students with Teaching Techniques that Establish Relevance,
Promote Autonomy. Magna Publications.
Shaffer, L. (2005). From Mirror Self-Recognition to the Looking-Glass Self: Exploring the
Justification Hypothesis. Journal of Clinical Psychology 61(1); 47-65.