Motivation differs for everyone. For some, the thought of taking an action could be a motivator while for others it could be the reward. For most teachers, being able to shape a youngster’s life is a great motivator.
Even so, as a teacher, it becomes very important to be motivated as you might be teaching the same subject year after year. The content remaining constant, the only variation is the students and the teacher’s interaction with them. Each student brings in their perspective which could be very radical or refreshing.
One of the critical parameters that helps a teacher remain motivated is the objective of choosing the profession of a teacher. If you are the happiest while teaching then you are naturally motivated. If you enjoy being in the company of learners, you don’t need motivation to be a teacher.
Why did you choose to be a teacher? Was it because you loved teaching, storytelling, imparting knowledge in such a way that it can help create a better world, developing yourself as there is no better way of Self-development than teaching. What was your motivation? Once that is clear, self-motivation is a cakewalk.
Being a teacher requires certain preparation. The teacher needs to plan the lessons, prepare notes, create assignments over and above having an in-depth knowledge of the subject. The subject knowledge could be evolving regularly, a teacher needs to be abreast of this evolving knowledge. If you are passionate about your chosen subject, being up to date in the subject comes easily as passion can be a great motivator.
Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Once you have chosen the teaching job, you need to identify something you enjoy and make that an integral part of your teaching. Create an assignment to help students gain in depth knowledge of the subject. Design an interesting worksheet. Share interesting extracts from videos or books. This not only motivates you as a teacher but also motivates the student to develop interest in the subject.
Another way a teacher can keep herself motivated is by being a keen learner and learning from her students. Every year a new batch of students come to the class, as a teacher you can design interesting activities to know them better and learn something about them (their background, their hobbies and their hidden talents) This also helps in building a good rapport with the incoming students.
The motivation you get from the satisfaction of helping others is a very big high for any teacher. This is more so when you see a student struggling with your subject and you help them learn it by simplifying the concept and helping the student not only grasp the subject but master it to certain extent, can be a great motivation to any teacher. It not only makes a teacher content with her job but can be a talking point to motivate other students who are in the same situation.
Observe what is going well and what is not during your class. Make notes of the same. Share your notes with your peers from your school or with the teaching community. You can even start a blog about your teaching experience. This would help the teachers just starting their career learn from an experienced teacher and get motivated to do their best.
Workshops where you can learn or teach different methods of teaching are a big motivators. There is nothing more motivating than having an invigorating discussion with like-minded people about the subject of your passion. Conducting a workshop can be a lot of fun with great learning opportunities. You could plan small capsule or bite sized workshops.
Sometimes when you have been teaching for number of years, you might get a feeling that you are stuck in a rut. Upgrading yourself by enrolling in a certification program to refresh your teaching skills, learn new methods or even learning a new subject could be a good motivator.
Take a break from your routine and do something different. You can give your class a break from regular classes too and involve them in something different. Together with your students you can create an interesting activity on community service, self-development or just a picnic to a nearby zoo or a botanical garden.
Every career has its highs and lows. Being positive helps you cross all obstacles. Do things that inspire you. Talk to others. Read motivational quotes and books. Watch good films that cheer you up. After all there is light at the end of every tunnel.
Have a repository of tricks/actions that you can pull out every time you feel demotivated. Use them as often as you feel the need to. Over a period, you will realise that even a small action can put a bounce in your life, and you are all charged up and motivated to take the next lesson.
“The illiterate of the 21st century,” Toffler wrote, “will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” And as a teacher what can be a better motivator for you than to learn, unlearn and relearn every few years. This will only keep you updated in your chosen field but will ensure that you are always motivated.