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motivating teachers

How can we motivate students without being motivated ourselves? Our faculty has a difficult time in understanding that today's student is different than yesterdays'. any suggestions?

Hi Joseph,
You are correct about the fact that instructors have to be motivated themselves before they can motivate others. The key is to find challenges for ourselves that keep us interested and excited about the material/content we are teaching.
The key I have found is to look for different ways of delivering the content and/or teaching the skills. My personal professional development goal has been to constantly look for different ways of delivering content or teaching skills. I read human resource literature looking for delivery methods that I can apply to my classes. Then I write the lessons using these techniques and try them out. Some work and others need additional polishing. My point is that I am challenging myself when motivates me when I am teaching.
Another factor that keeps me motivated is working hard to understand today's student. I go into the special education literature for techniques to help challenged learners, I then modify the techniques so they are appropriate for adult learners and try them out. They deal with issues such as learning difficulties, learning styles, multiple intelligence assessment, note taking, study skills, etc. When I see one of these techniques helping a student I get even more motivated help my students. Hope some of these ideas will give you a base from which you can challenge yourself and others.

Teachers have to be motivated. If I am not excited, their not going to be interested in what I have to teach.

Hi Amir,
Right you are. If teachers don't care, for sure students don't care. I think it is exciting to see teachers that are not only excited about their field, but about helping their students acquire the skills needed to be successful in the field. When I see that I know that quality teaching is going to occur in that classroom.

With 24-hour a day MTV and Entertainment television, today's students might have more distractions than those of even 10 years ago. I try to stress that only a very small portion of people live like Hollywood idols and the rest of us need to prepare for the real world.

Most of us have a romaticized view of the way "yesterday's" students were more focused and respectful than the students we are currently teaching. I refuse to believe this. Yes, today's students have more distractions, and we have become more of a visual, instant gratification society, but the needs of the student have not changed. The vast majority of our students make great sacrifices to attend classes and have a desire to learn. Unfortunately, we fail them sometimes because we are not prepared to deal with them. Enthusiasm, respect, competence, and a love of teaching will reach a vast majority of today's students. We have to demand more of ourselves as educators. If an instructor finds himself/herself not motivated to teach, one of two things must happen, either step back, take time of, re-evaluate and re-energize or seek another line of work.

Hi Matthew,
If students can see everyday applications of the studies they are undertaking maybe they will be able to settle more realistically into the real world. Anything you can do to help them to understand their local world will assist them in making a success of themselves in their chosen career field.

Hi Louis,
Your last sentence says it all. We have to constantly evaluate ourselves and why we are doing what we are. If each time we step in front of a class we still get a thrill about sharing our field with students then we can count ourselves fortune. In addition, if we strive to improve as we progress in our careers we will be rewarded by both personal and professional satisfaction.

What I find motivates instructors is active participation in their classrooms. Working with the instructor on an individual basis, understanding their strengths and weaknesses and helping them to improve in specific areas shows them that I care and this motivates them to do a good job. Good pay also helps :o)

Hi Jim,
Human beings like to have a cause and instructors are no different. You are helping them to improve and that helps them to feel better about the job they are doing.
You got the good pay right. We each have to feel that we are being paid a fair salary for the work that we are doing. When we don't feel that way our work begins to slip and we need to move on. A bitter instructor has no place in the classroom.

As teachers, we have to love what we do, love the subjects that we teach, and be motivated. This can in turn, will be engrossed by our students.

I have to say that my experience is that if you are having a bad day and you bring that feeling to the class, the lecture will not go well, at all. However, I believe that the individual instructor should not be motivated on their own all the time. I believe that the career college must take some responability. By that I mean, getting new supplies or equitment that will motivate the instructor to motivate the students.

Hi Robin,
With your statements you said it all. We have to reflect what we believe in terms of our field and how we feel about our students. Teaching is a great job despite some of the challenges we have in terms of administration, equipment, etc. We have to love it or we should try another career.
Keep up the good work.

Hi Karin,
Very well said, in terms of keeping students engaged in the learning process. Instructors are the front line providers of quality instruction and motivation, but they have to have support. This support need to come from the college so the faculty can stay focused on the teaching aspect.

I realize that in the stressful system we live in, there will be times students will come to class with their daily problems and the motivation to listen and learn is not there on that given day. I find that if I'm motivated, well prepared and excited about the day's lesson, my students begin to focus and listen.

Hi Jorge,
Good ideas about being motivated as you go into class. What are some strategies that you use to get yourself motivated for the class?


Hi Eddie,
From an instructor's perspective what are some factors that motivate you to do a better job as an instructor?

Motivating teachers can indeed be difficult at times. Internal motivation is longer lasting and more self-directed than is external motivation, which must be repeatedly reinforced by praise or concrete rewards. The key to motivating teachers is knowing each instructor and their individual intrinsic motivational triggers.

Hi Scott,
You make a good point about internal motivation. What are some ways you go about getting know what motivates your instructors?

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