Follow these steps to help your students to motivate themselves.
Whether your school is in lockdown or not, as teachers we need to ask ourselves an important question: How can we best support those students who became disengaged during the last 12-months of disrupted learning? Some easy options could be telling students off, remind them that they should have tried harder, urge them to do better next time. But will these lead to feasible change?
Educators and parents know about the value of students directing their own learning. School disruptions over the last year (and now) is a good time to pause and consider how we can best turn possibly mediocre student efforts during online learning into valuable learning opportunities. How we can set our students up for success in the year ahead?
The following process can help.
Support your students to notice how much they did
Remote learning is tricky ~ some students totally unplugged. They may not have read messages sent to them, not attended online classes, or if they did attend, they may have been ‘vague and checked out’, engaging in other online activities while Zoom is running in the background. In order for students to reflect upon their learning, we have to support them in noticing how they engaged during online learning. For those pupils who really zoned out, they may have been unaware of how much they missed. To resolve this, ask students to rate their engagement on a sheet.
The act of reflecting upon their work done in relation to each task will help students to notice exactly how much work they did or didn’t do compared to what was set.
See here for an engagement sheet for students to rate their motivation levels, in LFB Reflection of Learning( Word) or LFB Reflection of Learning (pdf).
Encourage them to reflect
The idea of the reflect stage is to give students an opportunity to consider how their achievements make them feel, and also to think about what may have led to, or inhibited, their success regarding remote learning. You can prompt students with the following questions:
- Looking at this self-reflection mark, how do you feel about how you applied yourself during online learning?
- If you are proud of your online learning efforts, what did you do that enabled you to achieve a high level of learning?
- If you are not proud of your online learning efforts, what do you think is the main reason for your low amount of work?
Help them convert reflections into actions
We are in the second half of the year. Powerful feedback involves combining a focus on the here and now with an eye to the future. One strategy is to ask students how would like you as a teacher to help them to help themselves. Here are some options:
a) Have a discussion with me to help me work out how to manage my time better, and call my parents to let them know I’m struggling with my time management.
b) Give me an extension and only call my parents if I still haven’t done it.
c) Call my parents and inform them that I haven’t done my homework.
- The combination of noticing, reflecting and planning is a powerful way to help students take charge of their own learning.
- Turn their prior remote learning experiences (whether they were successful or challenging), into valuable lessons about how to better achieve goals in the future.
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