How To Improve Student Motivation

Increase your motivation by learning how to change your attitude and implement these useful tips.

Success in school demands a lot from the student. Teachers today have greater expectations and are assigning homework more frequently now than ever before. It is easy to become frustrated if you aren't doing as well as you would like, or if you feel overwhelmed or bored with all the work. If you are having trouble staying motivated in school, consider the way you think about it. Write down several statements expressing how you feel. Most of them are probably negative, such as "My teacher doesn't like me," or "This subject is too hard." A look into these negative statements will reveal how your attitudes are holding you back and give you insight about how to change them.

"School is boring."

This is one of the most common complaints for many students. School can become much more interesting if you try to look at it in a new way. You will always find some subjects more boring than others, but keep an open mind and try to find at least one or two you enjoy. Think about your hobbies outside school and how they might relate to a class you are taking or will be able to take in the future. If you don't enjoy any of the basic subjects such as math, science, or English, look into what electives your school has to offer. If you like the outdoors, consider a biology or geology course. If you enjoy music, you might also enjoy the band, choir, or orchestra. If you think you might like to cook or design your own clothes, look into a home economics class. Taking just one or two classes you really like can change the way you feel about school overall.

"I just don't get it. This subject is too hard for me."

One reason many students feel unmotivated is that they are simply frustrated with difficult material. Don't be embarrassed if you don't understand things at first because everyone has difficulty with some subjects. Many schools offer free tutoring, and other students will often help you outside class if you ask. Talk to your teacher and express your particular concerns. Also, try to figure out how you learn best. For example, some students learn best by hearing new material, while others learn by seeing or doing. Utilize your learning style to make any subject more manageable.

"My teacher doesn't like me."

This is hardly ever true. If you have shown that you don't care about school or hate a particular subject, your teacher might seem frustrated with you. If you show that you are sincerely interested, any teacher will be happy to work with you and help with difficult assignments. Talk to your teachers, ask questions in class, and show respect by completing assignments and not sleeping in class.

"I don't like being at school."

Even if you hate homework, your school still has something to offer that you can enjoy. Consider joining a club, organization, or sport. This will help you make new friends, learn new things, and just have fun. If your school does not already have a club or sport that interests you, consider starting one based on your own interests, or try something new.

"What's the point of all this, anyway?"

Even though certain subjects such as history or algebra may seem pointless to you now, there is always something interesting for you to learn. Keep in mind that every class you take will help you in some way. Some will simply help you learn to study better, even if you don't actually ever use the information you studied to retain. Ask your teacher to give you some examples of how history relates to the world today or about real-world applications of math and science.

Here are some additional tips to help you stay motivated:

1) Set goals. Everyone wants to do well, but lack of motivation means you aren't quite feeling up to it. Revamp your efforts by reminding yourself of what you want to accomplish. Write down some specific things you would like to do, such as "I'm going to study 30 minutes a day." Set both short-term and long-term goals.

2) Break difficult assignments up into more manageable chunks. Start on the hardest parts so you can get help if you need it before the assignment is due.

3) Reward yourself. When you complete a difficult task, take time away to do something you really enjoy.

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