Student Motivation

10 October 2016

Student motivation is a critical educational issue that districts all around the country should deal with on a daily basis. More and more students are unmotivated for several reasons, for example they might have problems at home, they lack good teachers, parents don’t encourage them enough or they just began to lose interest in school or don’t find school amusing. Students should be the main priority to a district or school but instead money is.

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Districts are so focused on saving money that they just don’t care much about their schools, and schools more often try to save as much money as they can since their city has cut how much money they are getting, thus impacting how schools handle their money. Schools in a desperate way to keep their school open have to make critical changes to how they run their school knowing that their staff and students will suffer greatly.

Schools are now cutting off teacher’s salaries, they have shut down their transportation to students, they have to shut down during and after schools programs, they don’t buy new materials for students, and they have to close down tutoring for students who need it. All of this issues impact the students dramatically in on way or another. Teachers, more than any district or school wide programs, have the most power to motivate students because they’re on the front lines (Annie Condron). She explains that teachers can influence students in a way that kids can actually understand.

She is a teacher and she gives ways in which other teachers can motivate their students for example to praise students in big and small ways, expect excellence, or assign jobs. I found these methods really interesting, it would be nice if my teachers could use 1 or more of them. Especially when giving students a job in the class, which they have to be present and be active everyday in order to keep it. Michigan was rank number 3 in teacher salary, with the average of $56,000 a year in 2006(Thomas White).

But things have changed and now they are all getting paid less causing teachers to not put much interest in their job because of their income. Many teachers in DPS don’t care for their students, many of them just give out paper work or bookwork without explaining the subject. Students need teachers who will work with them and actually have expectations for them, teachers who would actually enjoy teaching and come with a positive attitude toward their students everyday. Perhaps one of the main reasons students are unmotivated is because of boredom (Ethan Yazzie-Mintz-HSSSE).

This center measures engagement in the classroom, and identifies why or why not students find school stimulating. It found out, through surveys, that 66% of students surveyed in 2009 indicated being bored in class at least every day and in fact, only 2% of students reported never being bored. Boredom in class is caused from students not finding the materials interesting or relevant, finding work unchallenging, and listening to uninteresting lectures. This survey also allowed for students to put how they feel about school, with the majority criticizing teaching methods. I don’t find the work interesting, don’t enjoy being talked at, and hate that everyone teaches to standardized tests” said one of the students who were surveyed. The idea of education has always been to give a broad base of learning to students, but teaching to standardized test limits the way that information is presented, this type of education is designed to teach children to think only about those things that test makers have deemed important a decade ago when the test was being constructed (Allan Teal) he also states that “Current way that standardized tests are used does not measure the learning ability of the student.

It only measures whether the school system is able to write curriculum that produces good test takers” this method will benefit average and below average students because they have less information to process, but above average and gifted students will be held back from ever achieving their potential because of the mediocrity of the information that they are exposed to. So this means that any goal of producing brighter and higher achieving young people cannot be reached. Sports, especially school sports, can be highly motivating for students to perform well in school and encourage them to attend school and try their best. Enhanced blood flow throughout the body caused by regular physical activity can improve a child’s mental sharpness and acuity” (R. Scott Kretchmar, a professor of exercise and sports science at Pennsylvania State University) he states that a person who moves well is also likely to perform well in school. Sports can also improve a child’s mind and body connection since they will need to train their mind to help their body react quickly and accurately on the sports field. So by doing sports students are training their mind to learn topics faster.

Relatedly students who participate in school sports also have a higher chance of getting accepted to a good college while increasing their chance of getting more scholarships. Students who are in a school sport have to keep their grades steady all semester in order to remain in the team. “Many schools do not allow children to participate in school sports teams if they have failing grades. This policy can motivate students to go to class each day and do their homework regularly” (Eric Carson) in order for a student to remain in a school team they cannot go below the required GPA for the school.

This statement is completely true since in my school, western international high school, students have to have a 2. 5 GPA or above if they want to remain in the team. If a student really enjoys playing soccer, baseball, basketball, or whatever their favorite sport is they have to try their best to not drop their grades, similarly if a student is not on a team but wants to be, they have to attend school and do their work in order to achieve their desired GPA. The environment of the school can also influence students to attend school.

In some schools the environment is not the best. A better campus outside makes the school look more professional and a better learning environment for the student. A school with better grassland for sports, like soccer, can encourage the students to attend school and want to play a sport. All students would like to play in grass then in a hard substance. Many schools in Detroit or other districts don’t have good arenas where students can play their desired sport. Most of them have dirt land or cement where they let the students play all kind of sports.

For basketball is fine since they play indoors, but what about soccer? Baseball? Softball? If they play those sports in cement or dirt they can get injured quick, or they cannot play to their fullest potential. So grassland can encourage students to give it their all and play in a construable place. Motivation is an extremely important for a student best determination. Schools have to find a way to motivate their students to perform well and try their best. They can offer reward to those who have good grades or good attendance.

Teachers have the highest power to motivate students, they posses the power to change how they handle their class. They could make up fun activities for students to actually want to attend class, like giving jobs to students. They have to be positive all the time and show they love teaching and want each of their students to succeed in life. Parents also have an essential job to motivate their child, they can offer rewards for good grades or simply just talk with them and explain why school is such an important part of their lives.

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