5 Tips to Engage and Motivate Students

1. Teach a growth mindset. Students have to believe that their knowledge is not fixed. With a growth mindset, a belief that you can do anything or be anything with enough practice, students will be more engaged and motivated to learn. For more information on this look into Carol Dweck's Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

2. Ditch the direct instruction. Current best practices dictate that teachers remove themselves from the front of the room and opt for a more student centered and project based classroom. In this type of classroom, students have more choice and voice which naturally lends itself to more engagement and motivation to succeed. 

3. Act like a kid. Sometimes, teachers can forget what it is like to be a kid, and being a kid today is completely different from being a kid when I grew up. Getting into the mindset of a student and understanding their demands and distractions can give great insight into engaging and motivating students. Adam Welcome and Todd Nesloney promote this idea in their book Kids Deserve It! Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional Thinking

4. Integrate technology purposefully. Using technology in the classroom can't be just a gimmick. Students will see right through it. Yet, if the technology has a purposeful intention, like reflection, review, collaboration, etc., students will be more engaged and motivated to try the technology.


5. Put yourself out there and try new things. Dress up like an author or a scientist-change your name for the day. Hold an EdCamp in your classroom. Try a Genius Hour. Have students give Ted Talks. Have a Bring Your Own Device Day. Putting yourself out there will let your students see you are taking a risk. They will see you care about them. They will see you fail, yet they will see you try again. Most importantly, they will be engaged and motivated to try something new as well. 

Just remember...whatever it takes.