13 Tips to Motivate Students in the Classroom

Updated on July 3, 2020
dhakaakbar profile image

By profession, he is an IGCSE English Language Teacher, a teachers' trainer, and a creative writer.


Motivation, in fact, is one of the main foundations of an effective classroom. As a teacher, you will never ever reach the target goal without motivating your students. Motivation actually is not a complicated term and it is also not a difficult task to motivate your students. We are living our lives with joy and happiness, and pain and sorrows because we are motivated to move forward. Yes, sometimes in our lives being neglected and disheartened we stop our expectation to move on, but as human nature, being motivated, we again start to think to move on. Similarly, in most of the cases without being motivated, a student loses hope to study. That’s the reason the students need motivation.

A teacher cannot be a successful teacher unless s/he knows how to motivate a student. A successful teacher is a person who is aware of the facts and techniques on how s/he can make an effective classroom, where the student will take part enthusiastically. In fact, without motivating your student, you will not be able to fulfill your sole responsibility.

There are many ways to motivate students in the classroom. As a teacher with my 12+ years of teaching experiences, I like to share some of the best tips to motivate your students in the classroom. In fact, such tips on motivating your students will help you to make your classroom effective and innovative.

1. Ensure Fear Free Classroom

You know what? Fear always blockades learning outcomes. So, never ever try to impose fear by imposing punishments in your classroom. I have observed that some of us, the teachers impose extra assignments as a punishment since physical punishments do not exist in teaching nowadays like the old and traditional era. Furthermore, discouraging comments as well bring fear among the students in the classroom. The fear in the classroom, be it for punishment or discouraging comments will never motivate your students. In fact, fear acts as a barrier to participating in the learning session effectively. The student will never try to be involved actively in the classroom. That is why every teacher should ensure a fear-free classroom to motivate your students. So, never ever practice of discouraging comments and load of assignments as punishments.

2. Encourage Their Thoughts And Choices

Always encourage new thoughts in the classroom. While providing assignments and course works, give them their own freedom to choose the topic by themselves. Your students will be motivated. After all, you surely know that human beings like appreciation. In fact, appreciation changes many lives of the students. Your students will eagerly wait to participate in your next class. Even when you appreciate new thoughts, dozens of excellent thought will also be revealed by the other students in your classroom. So always welcome new thoughts to motivate your students.

3. Clarify The Objective

Every student obviously likes clear instructions. At the beginning of the course, clarify each objective and target goal to be achieved. Don’t forget to discuss the obstacles they might face during the course. Discuss probable antidotes of the obstacles they may face. Thus, they will be motivated to discuss further issues, which will make the subject easy. In return, you will find that your classroom becomes effective since your students are motivated.

As a teacher, you are preparing a nation, a new world which will rule you and the earth very soon.

— Md. Akbar Ali

4. Improve The Classroom Environment

Don’t always sit on your seat to discuss the lesson. Walk beside the students while discussing the lesson. Sometimes take them out of your classroom. Take them to the library sometimes for research work. The change of the classroom environment triggers the novelty of the brain of the learners, which is in fact, a prerequisite of motivation.

5. Be A Great Listener

Listen carefully what your student wants to express. Appreciate their feels and thoughts. Take proper steps to sort out the difficulties they are complaining about. Be a great listener. They will start liking you as you listen to them with proper care. Thus, you can earn their trust. Now, isn’t it easy to motivate them? If you want your students should listen to you, you must listen to them first.

6. Share Their Experience

Not all students will share their experience during the lesson. Some will be busy with books. But when some students will discuss their experience related to the lesson, others will be motivated to participate actively. Prepare your lesson in such a way that different types of learner will participate enthusiastically in experience sharing lesson. In such a case, other students also get motivated to participate in sharing their own experiences. Thus, you can ensure an effective classroom.

7. Positive Competition

Competition is, in fact, a positive technique in a classroom. Ensure positive competition. Positive competition in group work motivates learners immensely. Even they are prepared to handle group work, which will bring a great benefit in their professional life also. It is no denying fact that positive competition triggers motivation among your students in the classroom.


8. Know Your Student Well

You must know your students well. You should also know their likes, dislikes, efficiency, and lacking. When your students understand that you know them well, they will start liking you and revealing their obstacles. Then, it will be easier for you to motivate your students on the right path. Unless knowing them well, you might not be able to motivate them.

9. Trust Them And Give Them Responsibility

Give your students responsibility. Assign them some classroom activity. They will involve with dedication for sure. Again, in such a case, some students will also learn to perform responsibilities. When you will provide them responsibilities, a trust within themselves will grow and they will start believing that they are important since they are getting value from you. Thus, they will be motivated to participate actively in the classroom. When you are trusting them, in return, they will trust you also.

10. Express Your Excitement

Express your excitement in the classroom during a lesson while they are fulfilling their responsibilities. Share your excitement on their great performance. Again express your positive excitement also when a new idea is introduced by any learner. Your expression of excitement will trigger motivation for them.

11. Keep Record

Prepare a record for you. Write down each of your student’s performance. When you find that a particular student is improving, discuss the student on the improvement. Show the record to the student. Reward and appreciate the student in front of the classroom. Even share the improvements with the parents. When a student finds that you care for that student as you are discussing from your record, the student becomes motivated.

12. Positive Feedback

When a student is not doing well, give positive feedback. Give second chance if possible. Be like a friend and try to understand the case of such a poor performance. Encourage the student motivating that next time s/he can easily improve as s/he could not understand how to perform well in this subject with the proper knowledge and technique. You know what? Your positive feedback can change many lives. Carefully look at the weakest students in your classroom, you will obviously get many positive qualities. Inform them about such great qualities they are possessing. In fact, appreciate them, which in return will motivate them significantly.

13. Real Life Situation In The Classroom

Relate your lesson plan with a real-life situation. Make the lesson interesting with fun and game. Tell them a relevant story with a mixture of humor. Thus, the lesson becomes easy for the student to relate to their own experience. Let them relate the lesson with their own experience also. Just monitor appropriately. In fact, while you are dealing with your lesson in real-life situations, the students become motivated to learn and attend your class.

The Bottom Line

It is the sole responsibility of a teacher to ensure effective classroom. A teacher does not mean that s/he will enter and leave the classroom only with ‘Good Stories’ without ensuring an effective classroom. By motivating your students, you can make the best classroom that is expected. After all, as a teacher, you are preparing a nation, a new world, which will rule you and the earth very soon.


Ames, R., and Ames, C. "Motivation and Effective Teaching." In B. F. Jones and L. Idol (eds.), Dimensions of Thinking and Cognitive Instruction. Hillsdale, N. J.: ErIbaum, 1990.

Bligh, D. A. What's the Use of Lecturing? Devon, England: Teaching Services Centre, University of Exeter, 1971.

Cashin, W. E. "Motivating Students." Idea Paper, no. 1. Manhattan: Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development in Higher Education, Kansas State University, 1979.

Eble, K. E. The Craft of Teaching. (2nd ed.) San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1988.

Erickson, B. L., and Strommer, D. W. Teaching College Freshmen. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

Forsyth, D. R., and McMillan, J. H. "Practical Proposals for Motivating Students." In R. J. Menges and M. D. Svinicki (eds.), College Teaching: From Theory to Practice. New Directions in Teaching and Learning, no. 45. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

Lowman, J. Mastering the Techniques of Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1984.

Lowman, J. "Promoting Motivation and Learning." College Teaching, 1990, 38(4), 136-39.

McKeachie, W. J. Teaching Tips. (8th ed.) Lexington, Mass.: Heath, 1986.

Sass, E. J. "Motivation in the College Classroom: What Students Tell Us." Teaching of Psychology, 1989, 16(2), 86-88.

Weinert, F. E., and Kluwe, R. H. Metacognition, Motivation and Understanding. Hillsdale

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Md Akbar Ali


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      12 months ago

      Absolutely agreed with the article! The collective experience gained from daily lessons ends up shaping the perception of a student towards that subject. Therefore, it's essential that there is enough motivation and positive vibes from a teacher, inside the classroom


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