how to stay motivated in school

How to Stay Motivated In School

How to Stay Motivated in School

What are some ways to help (teachers and students) with staying motivated when it comes to school?

Motivation in school, it’s a tricky business isn’t it?

Why is it tricky? 

Well, because without motivation we can’t get much done. 

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Can we trick ourselves into staying motivated in school?  

Well, let’s keep reading to find out!

As part of the overall approach to classroom management, motivation plays a key role for both teachers and students. Watch this short video below to learn more!

A healthy mind checklist

Sign up below to get your copy of this infographic that motivates learning by having students look at the important skills in education.

And so in reading this article, keep in mind that we mean to offer support to both teachers and students in staying motivated in school.

Stay Motivated with Journal Writing

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In this article we look at how to stay motivated in school by offering five ways to help stay positive and move forward with finding your motivation (and success) in school 

The five ways are:

  • understanding intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation 
  • finding purpose
  • dealing with mistakes
  • setting goals
  • planning to stay motivated

Understanding Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

What is motivation?  It is what pushes you to get something done. 

This push can come from internal personal emotions and feelings or it can come from the need to gain an external reward or both. 

What is intrinsic motivation? It is the push you give yourself because you have attached personal feelings and emotions to finding rewards and/or success that may not matter to anyone else but you. 

intrinsic motivation

Ex. would be earning a teaching degree in school because of how much you love to help others.

What is extrinsic motivation? It is the push you give yourself because you have attached personal needs to finding rewards that help you to gain other rewards or to demonstrate to others that you can find success.

extrinsic motivation

Ex. would be earning a medical degree in school because of how much money you can make as a doctor.

Finding Your Purpose for Motivation

In finding your purpose for motivation it is important to consider balancing between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

The question you need to answer before you can push yourself to do anything is – WHY? Why am I going to push myself to get this done?

Students and Motivation

For students in elementary school and high school the motivation is mostly extrinsic as they search or ask for external rewards to keep their motivation high.

math frustrations

However, these students are often the ones complaining about school. It’s the students who value intrinsic motivation when it comes to school that are the ones to enjoy real success. 

social emotional learning and math

When students see learning as a way to gain knowledge while at the same time build their confidence and enthusiasm to understanding the world around them, then real success can begin to show through. 

Learning how to study can really improve intrinsic motivation. In learning how to study, we start with improving five important skills we use everyday. Click here to read more.  

Teachers and Motivation

It is true to say that the best teachers in the world, and the ones students remember the most, are more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated. 

Teacher Identity and Mental Health

Teacher candidates soon discover that if they enter the teaching field for their summers off, or if they are looking for the teaching field to compliment their lives, they are in the wrong career. 

Teaching is, and has always been, a career of service, and as with other service careers, the motivation to stay, and help others succeed has to come from within and priceless rewards matter more than any other external rewards. 

teacher identity image

Just as no one likes to visit with a doctor who really didn’t want to be a doctor, no one wants to learn from a teacher who really didn’t want to be a teacher. 

Teaching should never been as the “filler” career, the one that you take while you look for your ‘real’ career in life. 

Dealing with Mistakes

If anything kills motivation it is making mistakes. 

Life is not perfect, and therefore not without mistakes. 

If we let the fear of making mistakes stand in the way of teaching or learning, then we really limit our motivation to get things done. 

making mistakes

Instead let’s accept the fact that we can make mistakes and that in doing so we can learn much more instead of making us want to quit. 

The key is to remember not to keep making the same mistake over and over again.

Setting Goals

To help our motivation to get things done easier, the first thing we need to do is set goals for ourselves.

Setting goals helps us to value the reward that comes with meeting that goal. 

math learning resources

For example, when at home, set a goal to make a routine for yourself to help with studying, or planning your lesson plans for the next day. 

Setting goals helps to improve intrinsic motivation while at the same time reaps the benefits of extrinsic motivations since the goals you set for yourself can be as a role model for others to follow. 

Planning to Stay Motivated

Planning to stay motivated means you plan and organize your day to help you stay motivated from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. 

Seeing your activities laid out for you on paper (or on your mobile phone) can motivate you to do what is right for you, while again being that influencing factor in someone else’s life. 

start with journal writing

But again, plan with purpose and with goals in mind that are within reach. Nothing kills motivation more than a missing purpose or goals that are too hard to reach. 

Motivating yourself really does work in finding simple ways to make the day more exciting.

If you try these five simple ways to help you build your motivation with teaching and learning, you also work to build your confidence and enthusiasm for teaching and learning as well. 

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Final Thoughts...

Finding your motivation in life may not be easy – especially when doing nothing may seem like the more fun option. 

However, we all need it to help us get up in the morning and feel like we have accomplished something during the day, and not wasted any opportunity.

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