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WYZANT WANTS TO KNOW: What are your tips to stay motivated through finals and the end of the school year?   I'd have to say that one of my motivational tips is maintaining two calendars, Make a countdown calendar that only includes the days between today and the absolute last deadline you have, whether it's a final exam or the last day a final paper is due; whatever's latest. Tell yourself that you only have to be strong and focused for these last few days. Everyday cross one day off of the calendar, knowing that you only have to keep pushing through x more days and you're allowed to give out/pass out/what have you on the other side of that last day. Make (or buy) a 24 hour calendar schedule for each of those days. This is the calendar you work with everyday. Now, the thought to have everyday. Write it down. Read it to yourself at the start of each day: "Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think... read more

We all know what the end of the year feels like: the weather gets nicer and nicer, the students get antsy, and even we end up with a bit of Spring Fever.    Taking a cue from a organizational strategy that I teach my students, I use a check-list with boxes I can check off to help me see that we are still moving forward and to stay on track.    With students, I have them make a list with a small empty square next to it of everything they need to accomplish for the week such as, study flashcards each day (5 boxes), do math drill page (one box to check). As they accomplish each task, they check the box.    Now, I do the same for myself to stay motivated. My list includes things that I have to do, as well as small things that help me stay sane along the way. For example it might include: Create weekly lesson plan Submit lessons to WyzAnt Take daily 20 minute walk Get a pedicure Ask one student to submit feedback   In... read more

The majority of the students that I have often have the same problem -- they aren't grasping the information fast enough or they aren't really able to follow the lessons a teacher gives.   Sometimes, teachers aren't adaptive to every learning style for each student in their classroom.  However, know that each student has the capability to learn math on their own.  It is just necessary to have key characteristics to make it successful.   Every math student should have: patience motivation adaptability organizational skills open communication between themselves and their teacher (inside and outside the classroom) breaks!! :)   Study Tips Always try to study outside of your home or dorm room. In our minds, those are places that we relax at and it can be difficult to turn your mind off from the distractions to study. Public libraries, universities, coffee shops, and bookstores are the way to go... read more

     Under Harmer’s theory, affect, agency, achievement, attitude, and activities are all crucial aspects of motivation. To focus on improving affect positivity, teachers can try to minimize their time spent as controllers, introduce more colorful (and carefully chosen colors of) classroom decorations, and aim for more activities and class discussions on topics that the students find interesting independent of their language learning.        To improve motivation with activities, teachers should attempt to strike a balance between challenge and exhaustion. Very simple activities will not motivate the students, and will cause affect to decrease if used after students have proclaimed them to be “too easy” or if used frequently/repetitively.        To improve motivation via achievement, teachers must first determine what kind of achievement is important to their students. In some classrooms,... read more

This afternoon I found myself contemplating a concept discussed in one of my students' papers this week: servant leadership.   According to my student's work, a servant leader is one who always puts the needs of the student first. S/he does not make decisions based upon his/her agenda of personal interests, but rather s/he bases her pedagogical decisions on the students' passions, interests and goals. In the ideal world, this leads to highly motivated students who belong to a community of engaged peers who support each other in the learning process. Great! Let's do it.   But I asked my student some questions. For example, how do you create a culture like this in your classroom to begin with? And what do you do if, despite your best efforts, students remain unmotivated? And keep in mind: unmotivated can mean a lot of different things. An unmotivated student might be one who is just not interested in the subject and therefore sees no point in doing the... read more

Many of the students I tutor have the skills it takes to succeed, but their confidence or motivation is low. I find that the best way to see results, for the benefit of myself, the students, and the parents, is to provide that student with the tools to understand what it feels like to succeed, and therefore to be confident. Although parents usually have the best intentions, the children may just need to hear the same advice from a peer, or a tutor. Having a new face recommending the same concepts will reinforce the idea, and the student will not resist the idea. Through hiring a tutor, the stress of overseeing a child's behavior, homework completion, peer relations, and school succeed should be alleviated. Although all skill improvement takes time, there will be guaranteed results if the tutor and student see eye-to-eye, and if the student really is motivated -- no matter how far below the surface -- then grades will improve quite quickly!

    It is quite challenging for the teacher to help the student/s to understand and learn a subject that he or she finds hard.  I do believe that constant review of the subject, dedication, patience and  perseverance to learn plus creativity and resourcefulness (with the guidance of the teacher) make learning  easier. Student/s plays an important role; he/she has to be self-motivated.  This motivation is his/her inspiration.  “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine perspiration.”           

The explosive reactions I get from students of all ages really help me appreciate why I got into this field to begin with. With other fields making so much more money, and in shorter times, it's easy to think about what you "could" be doing. But when that child or adult really "gets it", and totally blows you away with their next answer, it's like striking gold - yeah, it's that good.

With the new school year starting, I thought I'd write a blog post to talk about what I think are the most important things students should be doing to start the year off on the right foot. If anything, September is the time when students are either excited to come back or are dreading it, but being prepared will help any student have a successful year.    The most important thing a student should do before the year starts is to set a goal. I have all the students I work with look at their schedules and think about what classes they think will be the most challenging for them. They then create a goal for how they might want to do, say get a B in Geometry or a A- in English. They should try to make it a SMART goal too: it should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Every week or two, they should come back to their goal and think about whether they've made any progress on it. And if they don't achieve their goal, at least they were working... read more

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