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Learners are the main clients to every educator and therefore it is important that they are always
motivated. In the olden days, educators were of the view that learners should somehow be inherently
motivated, not aware of the role that they have to play in the motivation of the learners. There are certain factors that an educator needs to take into account in order to ensure that learners are motivated and the most important of it all is creating an environment which is conducive for learning.
What is motivation?
Motivation is the driving force that causes the flux from desire to will in life, it is the literal desire to do things. Learners do have the role to achieve set learning outcomes at school, however, as a n educator, I have the role of ensuring that they are motivated enough to achieve those set outcomes.
Intrinsic motivation influences learners to choose a task, get energized about it and persuit until they accomplish it successfully regardless of whether it brings about immediate reward. This type of motivation is seen when learners actively seek out and participate in activities without having to be rewarded by materials or activities outside the learning task.
Extrinsic motivation is when learners are motivated by an outcome that is external or functionally unrelated to the activity in which they are engaged.
As an educator, I have to act the part by showing just how motivated I am to my learners even by the way I present my lessons or the type of teaching method that I use. Motivated learners are the type of learners who initiate actions, expend effort and persist in that effort.
WAYS TO MOTIVATE LEARNERS
Feedback motivates learners and encourages them. The feedback should be directed at the student actions and not their character. Feedback also helps learners to believe in themselves and their abilities, even appreciating things such as improved handwriting in a learner. Though feedback encourages learners, I must continue to show that I value effort more than ability.
GROUPING LEARNERS BASED ON ABILITY
As an educator I should refrain from grouping that exclusively promotes ability. Grouping learners based on ability sometimes make learners think that an educator values ability exclusive of effort and this may cause learners to become demotivated. They will in turn see no value of the hard work they do.
PROMOTE CO OPERATION OVER COMPETITION
Promoting co operation over competition is done by using co operative learning which is assigning learners of varying abilities , ethnicity, gender mix to small groups that pursue common goals together. On this level, I ensure that every member is given a role to play, either as a recorder, researcher, or a summarizer in order to foster the group’s goal.
TEACHING REALISTIC GOAL SETTING
Learners should believe that their efforts to learn and mastering new skills will not be in vain. This depends on how realistic their set goals are. Unreached goals may cause learners to doubt their ability and to approach learning tasks with lessened commitment to learning.
Communication is the transmission of an idea by someone referred to as the sender and the understanding thereof by another (receiver). Communication is perfect only when both the sender or receiver have the same understanding or interpretation of message.
THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS
During this process, a purpose expressed as a message to be sent out is needed. This is the case when as an educator; I convey a message or give a lesson to students. The sent message passes between a source (sender) and a destination (receiver). The message is then encoded (converted to a symbolic form) and is passed by a way of some medium (channel) to the receiver who then translates (decodes) the message initiated by the sender.
Effective communication helps us better understand a learner’s or situations and it also enables us to resolve differences, build trust and respect and create learning environments where creative ideas, problem solving, affection and caring can flourish. These skills can better connect an educator with learners. An educator needs to understand that communication should be spontaneous rather than formulaic. When presenting a lesson as an educator, it should not appear or be presented as a speech that is read as it will have no impact.
Effective listening is the most important communication aspect. When an educator listens to learners,
they can ;
Feel heard and understood which can build a stronger and a deeper connection with educator
Create an environment where every learner feels safe to express their ideas, opinions and feelings.
Save time as learners will know that as a lecture I understand them
Relieve negative emotion. The learners will be at ease knowing that they have been heard.
In order to reach all objectives, an educator must focus on the learners when they speak, avoid interrupting them or being judgmental and lastly show interest when the learners are speaking.
The way you look as an educator, move, react or listen to your learners tells them more about how you feel without saying so many words. As an educator I can also use facial expressions, postures and gestures in order to ensure that my message to learners goes across quite well. As an educator I can enhance nonverbal communication by using open body language, arms uncrossed, standing with an open stance and maintaining eye contact with the learners. An educator can use nonverbal signals that match up with their words, adjust nonverbal signals according to context.
INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS BETWEEN LEARNERS AND THE EDUCATOR
Teaching is about relationships between the educator and the learner. An educator should be consistent in their behavior, be open and approachable to ensure a healthy relationship. Using humour, friendly greetings and non verbal supportive behavior may help improve such relations. A plan that emphasizes the prevention of misbehavior in human relations should be implemented. Teachers should work together with learners from a position of social equality.
Authority is very important in the classroom though an educator should not plan rules without consulting the learners. Authority is essential but an educator should establish a less authoritarian working relationship with learners without losing control in the classroom.
THE BEST WAYS TO PROMOTE GOOD RELATIONS
The teacher learner relationship in the classroom should be based on mutual respect and trust. This is achieved by educators being in close relationships with learners when making decisions that affect the class. Teachers and learners should work as a team to achieve predetermined goals and objectives of the lesson.
When there’s a teamwork environment relationship between educator and learner, there is less hindrance and learners work harmoniously with others. This according to Deiro (2005, 10) is an example of influential relationship. Influential relationships are formed to create a challenge in one or both parties in the relationship. The teacher constantly modifies learner’s behaviours.
THE MAINTENANCE OF DISCIPLINE
In order to have an environment that is conducive to learning, there should be a plan that enforces rules and regulations that are followed whereby learners are aware of what are expected behaviours from learners.
Discipline is the practice of care and respect for others and the individual learner. It safeguards the rights of people who are exposed to uncooperative, aggressive or blocking responses by others. Discipline should not be constued as solely a clamp down of unruly, mischivious and disruptive behavior but as a means of entering into a loving, caring and guiding relationship with learners.
Discipline should be corrective and nurturing according to South African Schools Act , 84 of 1996 Section 11(2). Educators should not impose any form of punishment which is harmful to learners self esteem. Physical punishment as well as emotional castigation should not be used. As an educator I can promote the development of self discipline. I can model true discipline ship for learners to emulate. My learners should be made to feel emotionally comfortable and physically safe so that the learners can develop self discipline which is referred to as intrinsic discipline and accountability in their actions.
Educators have to create an environment which each learner is guided towards an attitude of caring and respect for other learners. As an educator I must work collaborately with the learners, this means recognizing learners as partners in education though by not allowing them to take control of the learning situation.
MY CLASSROOM DISCIPLINE POLICY
A classroom discipline policy is a system that allows an educator to express the behavior expected from learners as well as what they can expect from me as an educator.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A CLASSROOM POLICY ?
A classroom needs a set of procedures to manage the array of activity that students create. As an educator, from time to time my expect actions and the learners action will conflict. It is important to review such expectations during the first days of school especially those that relate to discipline. A classroom code of conduct should be the first subject and learning outcome in a lesson plan. It will remain as the point of reference for both the educator and learner throughout the year.
STEPS TO DEVELOPING A CLASSROOM DISCIPLINE POLICY
The expectations should be written down and shared in the classroom. It should include acceptable and unacceptable behaviours. Learners should also take part in discussing the listed behaviours. The list should be kept minimal to ensure effectiveness.
Establish incentives or consequences
Consequences should be positive, frequent and varied. Negative consequences should be logical and progressive. Furthermore I may add a system of how the learners can dig themselves out of a hole and lastly make it clear that certain behaviours will require special and immediate action which may even be suspension or sanction.
Establish a method for giving students a constant stream of affirming and corrective feedback
As an educator is should be able to show appreciation when learners are doing well and behaving as expected. Every positive behavior is an opportunity for feedback. Corrective feedback should be quick, clear and focused on the future.
Motivation is something that educators needs to instill in learner’s minds. When learners are motivated especially by their educator they feel confident that they will reach the set goals and objectives. A classroom is a place where learners spend atleast up to 7 hours in on a daily basis hence it should in all aspects feel like home though without learners forgetting the main reason for being there which is to learn. Learners prefer to an have an approachable educator with whom they can relate with. By maintaining a good learner educator relationship, they will without force be able to behave in the manner that they are expected to behave. This will save both the learner and the educator from conflict and time wastage. Communication is vital as all lessons resemble a message, being decoded either to the learner or educator. It’s important that both parties communicate effectively to create a sustainable positive atmosphere.
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