How to Motivate Your Students

Motivation as it is defined in dictionary.com is the “internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal.” Students may come to class with some intrinsic motivation, but the teacher’s behavior, attitude, and communication with his/her students are powerful factors that can increase students’ motivation. Many teachers claim that motivating students is the most difficult factor teachers face in the classroom. While this may be true, the good news is that there are so many things teachers can do to help increase students’ enthusiasm about learning. In this article, I am going to discuss some strategies that teachers can use to help improve students’ motivations, based on my teaching experience.

MAKE YOUR TEACHING REAL

Teachers can develop lessons that are related, somehow, to students’ lives through the use of new technology, such as iPods and smart phones. Students should feel the meaning of what they are learning. In every lesson, teachers can connect the material to current events, pop music, and social activities. Personally, I try to come up with an activity that is related to students’ everyday lives for every unit we cover. For example, if my unit is about poverty, I will have my students come up with a project to help poor people or orphans, so that they will relate the lesson to the real world around them, resulting in a better understanding of the materials presented in the classroom.

GIVE THE STUDENTS SOME FREEDOM

Based on my teaching experience, I have noticed that students perform better when they feel some sense of autonomy in the class structure. Teachers should give their students the opportunity to choose their lab or project partners to make them feel they are not dominated by the curriculum or the teacher.

BE A ROLE MODEL

Usually, students look at their teachers as role models and tend to follow their teachers’ footsteps, especially if their teachers are successful in life. So, if teachers can do a project similar to what his/her students are required to do, students will produce better work. For example, my students decided to go and buy food and drinks for the workers in the institution campus where I work after they had seen a video of me helping homeless people in San Francisco. Also, if teachers show some enthusiasm towards the topic they are teaching, students will do the same.

USE A SUPPORTIVE TEACHING STYLE

If teachers are extremely tough and do not show some sort of support for their students, students will lose interest in learning, and they might even end up dropping out. Supportive teachers exhibit active listening, positive feedback, and empathy. A smile is another tool that teachers can use to make students feel safe and comfortable in class.

EMPHASIZE EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENT BEHAVIOR

In the first week of class, teachers must clarify exactly what they expect from students. Teachers need to explain to their students that they need to have their assignments ready before coming to class. Students should know beforehand that their mere presence in class is not going to do much; rather, participation is an essential factor for success. The knowledge that their grades will go up if they are active in and out of the class will motivate students intrinsically.

KNOW YOUR STUDENTS BETTER

Knowing your students’ names is not enough. Teachers need to get to know every student as well as possible. If class time does not allow teachers to learn enough about their students, they can come to class ten minutes earlier to chat with them, or set up one-on-one meetings during office hours. Teachers should also encourage students to come to office hours on a regular basis; students need to feel they are welcome to talk to their teachers any time and that a teacher’s office door is always open to their students. So, teachers must show some willingness to go beyond the call of duty.

CREATE A WELCOMING CLASS ENVIRONMENT

Students need to feel they are safe and welcome inside the classroom. In almost every class, there will be at least one quiet student, often with low self-esteem. It is a crucial component of a teacher’s job to help these students to feel safe and encourage them to participate. There are many other activities that can build trust and confidence in students’ inner selves. One activity I use in my own classrooms is “sitting in a circle.” Sitting in a circle creates some sense of community and the dialogues within these circles usually provide space for intentional and respectful engagement.

CHALLENGE YOUR STUDENTS

Throughout my teaching experience, especially in the Middle East, I learned that students everywhere, and specifically in the Middle East like to be challenged. They perform better if the teacher gives them harder work than what they expect. However, students need to know that the teacher is giving them this project because he/she believes in them and that they CAN do it.

DISPLAY A SENSE OF HUMOR

Teachers have to work so hard to avoid boring classes, and if students sit in class listening to a lecture for an hour or two, they will be bored and lose focus. In such cases, the teacher is actively de-motivating students. One way to avoid this is to tell jokes or funny stories at the right time during class; this can break up the monotony of a long lecture and refresh the class.

USE AUTHENTIC MATERIALS

Students are usually less motivated if they are asked to read an article that does not interest them. Accordingly, teachers should find materials that somehow relate to students. In my reading and writing class, I use Jack Canfield’s book “To Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” and because the book has many helpful pieces of advice for people to be successful, my students really enjoyed reading it and discussed it in class with great enthusiasm; many even went out and bought the second edition of Canfield’s book. Therefore, taking the time to choose the right materials can have a profound impact on students’ motivation.

Is Your Higher education Doing The Right Factor For Students?

With so many frustrated scholars finishing without excellent tasks, much less tasks in their places of attention, the modern management of some college are beginning to pay more attention to the job search planning needs and issues of learners. Their universities are definitely looking for ways to make sure that higher variety of learners be successful in the job industry. They are trying to do appropriate. Isn’t that what universities should be doing?

College Leaders who are well-known and valued by students:

Vision – Build a Perspective that describes what college student career achievements means to them. (Percentage of learners predicted to accomplish their career goals, A job in the scholar’s own field of attention, Appropriate beginning incomes for each major and Expected period of time it will take learners to land suitable tasks, etc.)

Goals – Use their Perspective Claims to set clear and specific goals with work deadlines for enhancing college student career achievements.

Communication – Make the goals and goals known to everyone in the entire college group.

Involvement – Give “absolutely everyone” in the school group a part to play in this important effort.

Expectations – Set great goals for everyone involved in creating and undertaking the programs, systems, training, training and outcomes that are required for higher college student career achievements.

Accountability – Hold everyone responsible for their efficiency and the outcomes they accomplish in helping learners reach their career goals.

Leadership – Lead by example. Individually do the same factors they expect others to do.

Culture – Build a lifestyle where everyone is aware of and facilitates the Perspective.

Metrics – Use figures and research to track the career achievements of learners and to identify places where enhancement is required.

Research – Ensure that at least one team looks into and reviews on the best methods that already are available at other universities. Designates others to identify the best guides, content, tools and web sites for learners to use.

Suggestions – Demand and allow anyone to publish recommendations that may help learners get ready for and discover achievements in the job industry.

Alumni – Contact all recent graduate student students to discover out how the school could have better prepared them to identify, engage in and contend for the best tasks.

Support – Consistently illustrate their assistance for the goals by dealing with them in demonstrations, in paper content and on stereo & TV reveals, both on and off university.

Focus – Keep the highlight on the goals and the individuals who are accomplishing or going above them.

Rewards – Recognize and compensate individuals who recommend or make the changes that result in higher college student career achievements.

Improvement – Place a higher value on regular and ongoing enhancement in the area of college student career achievements.

We know that the factors scholars want usually fall into three areas:

1. A excellent education

2. An pleasant college experience

3. A excellent job when they graduate

With this knowledge, it should be apparent that your college can improve its popularity with current and future learners by indicating great importance for college student achievements in the job industry. Think about your own college and its management. When the discussion comes around to college student career achievements, what will you answer when you are requested, “Is your college doing appropriate for students?”

Guidelines for Choosing the Right Higher education for Your Child

Finding the right college may audio challenging to any mother or father. It is an incredibly individual choice. But there are many aspects that should be kept in thoughts when you begin looking out for the best college for your kid. What aspects should you keep in mind? Research on.

Higher education look for is time-consuming

Prepare yourself for the school look for procedure. Looking for the right college is time-consuming. So have a lot of tolerance and power. The look for procedure can be irrelavent and unforeseen. Some kids may have their thoughts set on an excellent, while others may not have any viewpoint. As a mother or father, you should be able to provide as a details to your kids.

Choose an excellent that meets your child

Finding the right college among the many is not simple. There are many colleges and universities. You should not depend on the popularity of an excellent or position in an excellent details. You ought to decide an excellent that meets your kid. The college atmosphere should be one that can task your kid and at same time not overcome him or her. Your kid should be able to develop in information and self-esteem.

Let your kid have a say

Parents always want the best for their kids. As a mother or father, you should provide your assistance. But in the end, it is better to keep the choice to your kid as it is your kid who has to analyze. Let your kid implement to an excellent where he/she is fascinated. Many teenagers know their passions and so should be allowed to go by their intuition. If your kid is enthusiastic about seeking the Artistry flow, then let him/her do so. Do not force your kid to decide on a significant that you are looking for.

Let there be options

It is excellent to keep a variety of school choices. It is okay if your kid has a record of preferred colleges and universities. If your kid does not get choice in one college, then you have others in the record to implement to.

Get as much details as you can

Be a intelligent mother or father by obtaining as much details as possible about colleges and universities. Let your kid also do the same. Check out a university to discover the school from college books. You can even go through the school publications in the school collection. It is a wise choice to discuss to your buddies or others who live nearby about the school you are looking for.

Tips for Students Moving to College

If you are moving to college, you will probably have been making plans for quite some time now. However, when the actual time comes, students moving to college always find that the experience is stressful and confusing. They simply don’t know what to take with them, what to throw away, what to store, and so on. Additionally, moving out for the first time is both stressful and fun, and finding a positive balance between the two can be very difficult. So what can you do to make student moves easier to handle? Let’s take a look at some hints and tips.

First of all, you need to know exactly where you are moving to and how much space you will have there. This will greatly determine just how much you can actually take. Next, you need to find a good moving company to help you with the actual move. They will often also have a lot of hints and tips to make the process easier. Additionally, they could supply you with boxes and packing materials to help you with your move. Once those are arranged, it is time to start sorting through all the different items. The first is to make two piles: one for those you keep and another for those to be thrown out. Be ruthless. You have a life ahead of you to collect new stuff. Anything that you do want to throw out should be sorted into donations to charity and actual trash. Then, it is time to start looking into your keep pile. Pick out the things that have true sentimental value for you – things you don’t absolutely need, but can’t throw away either. These can be placed in storage. With everything else, ask yourself with every item whether you will need it to improve your college experience. How will that particular item make your life better? An alarm clock, for instance, is a really important item. However, a poster of The Doors may not be so important. After all, you will probably go shopping for decoration items at some point when you are in college.

When you do move to college, you have to be ruthless with your decisions. This is a time of transition, where you say goodbye to your old life of being a child, and say hello to your new life of being a young adult. This means you should also rid yourself of those things that still hold you to the past. Relocating to college is your opportunity to start a new life. Redefine yourself by letting go of things you don’t really need anymore. Remember that they are only things, and things can be replaced if necessary. Furthermore, the less you take with you, the less your move will cost you.

Start Thinking About Your Senior Year Job Search As Soon As You Enter College

If you and your family are working extra jobs, spending your personal savings and taking out loans to cover your college costs, you do not want to get to the senior year only to find out that you didn’t do the things that your target employers want, need and expect of the candidates they will hire.

Choose A Career Direction Wisely – The most successful students select a career direction that matches up well with their areas of strong interest, natural talents, positive experiences and one that is likely to motivate them to succeed.

“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can

circumvent or hinder or control

the firm resolve of a determined soul.”

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Select A Target – Everyone does better when they have a clear target. Wise students target the jobs that fit their needs, interests and natural abilities. Jobs that fit their personal capabilities will give them the best chance for employment success.

Learn How To Search For Employment – Students should consider visiting the Career Services Office and reading articles and books such as: A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. The information that is gathered can be incorporated into their own job search plans. When students fail to obtain and learn this information, important steps will be missed.

Do Some Research – Students will also need to find out which employers offer positions that fit their interests and capabilities, then make a long list. The best candidates learn what those employers need, want and expect of applicants. With that information, they can develop an effective plan of action.

Create A Plan With Steps That Lead To Your Target – There are literally more than a hundred things that students can do to get prepared for their senior year job search. Savvy students do their research and develop a detailed plan for each semester of college. They know that the competition is stiff for the most desirable jobs with the best employers.

Carry Out The Plan – This is the most important step. During each semester of college, students should be performing, participating and preparing for their senior year job search. A good plan, carried out to the best of a student’s ability, is the best way to gain the attention of the employers with the best jobs.

Work Toward The Goal Each Day – As they move through college, students should do something to get prepared for their job search each and every day. They can do some research or speak with campus recruiters, employers, networking contacts, search firms and job banks, etc. This is the kind of information that successful job hunters gather and verify before they need it.

Conduct A Comprehensive Employment Search – As students enter their senior year, they should begin their search for employment. This is the time to use all of the information, tools and resources that they have developed in earlier years.

Tips For Fast Dissertation Writing That Works

As much as you want to write your dissertation for that awaited career boost, the thought of writing a dissertation can also bog you down. You’ve got a humungous amount of reading to do. You must take down notes wherever necessary, make a decent list of references and must also format and proofread before you hit the print button. Above all, you have to do justice to your work by being able to prove your argument.

Writing a dissertation can be a stressful and time-consuming task, but you can make it a smooth sail by planning ahead. We have 5 tips to write successfully under pressure.

Manage Your Time

As students, we tend to wait for the last minute to get started with writing the dissertation and then rush into it. Although you might not start writing it out immediately, you should at least start planning it as soon as the assignment is received. Chalk out a schedule and dedicate a few hours every week. If you are not a person who can sit it out for hours, dedicate at least 20 – 50 minutes daily. Let it be the time when you are most focused. You should also find a study place where the distractions are minimal; a library is a good option in this regard.

Sketch an Outline

When writing your research paper, you will often find yourself stuck between what to include and what to leave out. Creating an outline before you sit down to write can avoid such confusion. The best thing to do is split your thesis into smaller topics and allot separate files and documents for each topic. As you read and research, you can include the relevant points under the necessary subheads and elaborate on them later.

Preparing an outline also includes writing out a proposal. The proposal will include the contents of your dissertation. Discuss your proposal with your mentor or tutor. He will suggest a few improvements if needed. An outline like this will keep you focused and relaxed.

Perform Thorough Research

The secret sauce of every good dissertation is research. The more you read and cite, the more depth it adds to your arguments. Books are of course the best resource you can reference. However, today with the internet, you have access to a lot more research material including eBooks, journals, thesis, reviews and reports.

Proofread Your Research Paper

The problem with a dissertation is that unlike many other documents it is read and critiqued word for word. Therefore the sentences should be drafted well, the grammar should be perfect and the important terminology should be clearly defined. To add, the entire paper should be coherent. For this, you must read and re-read your document. It is advised that you do not read a section the same day you wrote it; read it after a day or two to be able to realize what it lacks. You can also request others to read it and give their comments.

Populate Your Bibliography As You Go

The bibliography is an important section of any dissertation. You have to credit authors when you draw from their work. A detailed and annotated bibliography is also a proof of completed work. It can be hard to go back looking for the resources you used. Hence, you should keep track of the resource material during research, making note of every book or web link as soon as you use it.

How To Be A Successful Student: Tips For Choosing Your Subjects

Learning how to be a successful student is not that difficult if you know what you are doing when it comes to the subjects that you choose to study. You need to make sure that you are making the most of your time at university and learning all that you can from your classes. Try to keep the subjects that you are studying as relevant as possible, simply because you do not want to find yourself in a situation where you cannot be employed after you graduate. You will also find that if you choose subjects that are useful, you will be able to apply yourself a lot better.

It’s all in the choices you make

The first thing that you need to do, of course, is to make sure that you have chosen the right degree for the field that you want to be in. There are many things that you can study, but you need to make sure that your degree and your subjects are specific enough. Remember, however, that once you are out of university, there is always work experience, and that counts for a lot too.

One of the ways in which you can choose your subjects is by relevance. Ask yourself, how relevant is it that you delve into a certain area of learning? Make sure that you do your research into careers within that field in order to see what skills they require. The next thing that you should do is also pick subjects that interest you the most. Very often we do better when we are in situations that are interesting to us, so it is always a wise idea to make sure that you have got subjects on your plate that you will be motivated to study.

Take some subjects that will also set you apart from everyone else in your field, too. Go the extra mile and you will see that, later in life, you will be rewarded with more career options and opportunities. If you are in a specific degree, take subjects that will enable you to specialise easily later on. If you are doing a degree such as Liberal Arts, make sure that you take subjects that will enable you to teach them afterwards.

There is more to being a student than just the subjects that you take. One of the key parts is also making sure that you have got a good place to stay during your university years. This is important because if you have a home to call your own, you are more likely to be focused and dedicated to completing your studies.

The Dynamics of Youth Cultures

Dick Hebdige’s article “Subculture and Style” starts with an excerpt from Jean Genet’s ” The Thief’s Journal” which points to the different meanings that are conveyed by objects to different people. He uses this approach to illustrate an understanding of the styles of Britain’s youth cultures, arguing that a subculture is subversion to normalcy; but style, though the subversion of common objects, allows Britain’s subcultures to symbolically separate themselves from the mass culture to which they belong. He defines style as an aesthetic nonconformity in which participants invite backlash from the majority culture. This concept of style in subculture acknowledges creativity and collective aesthetic environment with a hierarchy of values and unique structure which in some cases involves criminality. For instance, youthful street artists (graffiti writer, rap musicians), and gang members, “constructing identities… working to control the meanings that these references carry for others – people and groups begin to set the boundaries of their own identities and those of other as well.” (Ferrel). To deviate from the normalcy and create meaning from such a deviation could possibly reflect beauty and ingenuity according to individuals’ perception of the symbol. But when the symbol is viewed in the mirror of the dominant group, it might represent criminality because they proscribe it to be, even when there is no crime involved in the creation of the symbol.

By proscribing this separate system of symbols, these authors of the subcultures feel validated by the dominant group, challenge existing tradition, denying the context of the mass culture. In this way, the teenagers are empowered to transform into the socially significant symbols and form a formidable group with their own identity. Hebdige argues that subcultures bring together like-minded individuals who feel neglected by societal standards and allow them to develop sense of identity. “This scorn then serves to galvanize the countercultural identity, legitimizing the subculture precisely by rejecting its deviance. In this way the autonomy of a subculture is both established and maintained” (Hebdige pp.3).

In “Youth, Crime, and Cultural Space,” Jeff Ferrel explores the cultural space within which some young people construct meaning, perception, and identity. It focuses on “the criminalization of young people’s alternative cultural spaces as a strategy of social and cultural control, as a defense of mainstream cultural space and boundaries” (pp.2). He argues that when cultural space is confused with criminal intent by the dominant group, the criminalization provokes a protest from the youth who elicits new forms of resistance by creating alternative cultural space. According to him, the creation of a subcultural space and the criminalization innuendos has political implications that affect the youths’ everyday lives. He questions, “Are channels of youthful communication appropriately the province of corporate profit, legal regulation, or unfettered creativity” (Ferrel pp.1)?

The point here is; as the youth create their self fulfilling goals of identity construction and maintenance of cultural space through styles and symbols they become appropriated, commodified, and redefined by the hegemonic culture which they contest, elevating the alternative culture to social and political level in other to foster their political ideologies without acknowledging the creativity behind the transformation.
Example is the internet subculture Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) of the 1980′s, which was a pioneer internet network that comprised of underground network of technically ardent computer literate youths. Today, there is corporate domination of the internet like the World Wide Web (www), Yahoo, America on-line (AOL) among other that charge users for their services. Government censor and tax the internet websites and customers, it sets surveillance on individuals and groups’ activities, and apprehend violators of their internet rules. Such is applicable to Rap music and other similar subcultures.

Walking the streets of America in this time and age, the sights and airwaves show and vibrate different sights and tunes from what it was decades ago. There is debatable disparity of American identity based on subcultures that can be attributed to variables such as age, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, class, and education among others. While these subcultures range from music to internet relationship, their existences cannot be ignored due to impact they make in the society. Style helps to construct identity, as well as confer relative autonomy within a social order weakened by generation gap, class, race, and ideology among others. It is an unequivocal advocate of change in the society in that it challenges the traditional environment, and changes the expression of class, leisure, work, and community. It contributes to the economy by creating a market for surplus like in the internet polarization, polarization of working class, and relative increase in the spending power of the working youth. It is an alternative source of self esteem and expression. “During this time, the subculture has not only spawned thousands of often trans-ethnic crews of writers, and provided writers with self-made measures of status and identity, but also generated an underground economy that provides many writers with a modicum of economic and artistic autonomy” (Ferrel pp.5).

Distance Learning Vs Full-Time Education: Which Is Best for You?

There are two main options for education now. You can learn in full-time institutions where you attend daily classes or you can do it all through online distance learning. There are pros and cons to both options and your current living and financial situation will affect the one that is right for you. Here are some of the factors you need to consider to choose which one is best for you.

Studying Around Your Work Commitments

If you need to work full-time, then studying full-time is not going to be an option. The classes will most likely be organised during the hours that you work. Even if not, you will need to put in study hours outside of your classes and they will eat into your working times. Most full-time educational facilities consider students will work part-time; usually no more than 16 hours per week.

If you need to work and study, distance learning could be a better option. There are no specific classes set, apart from the odd voluntary tutorial on a monthly or bi-monthly basis in most cases. The institutions expect you to study around your working hours and in your own time. You could do some study in your lunch break at work or wait until the evening when you get home.

Studying Around Family Commitments

Studying full-time will mean classes during the day and that will mean you need to find childcare. Some of the classes will run up until 6pm or 7pm, so even if you have school-aged children you will need to find childcare. There may be other family commitments that you need to make.

Distance learning gives you the option to study around your other commitments. You do it all from home, so can manage looking after children and learning at the same time. If you need to, you could choose to wait until the children are in bed to do your hours of study each day.

Self-Teaching Isn’t for Everyone

How well do you teach yourself something? This is a major consideration you need to make. While there are the odd tutorials and there is support via email or phone, you will be expected to teach yourself most of the course material when studying online. You’re given the books and then it is up to you what you do with them.

If you don’t have the motivation to get on with your studying or you have struggled to do something similar in the past, full-time learning may be the better option. With full-time study, a tutor goes through all the material and there are more chances to speak to your tutor to discuss areas you find difficult.

The choice is completely up to you. It really depends on the way you learn best and your current situation. If you currently have no other commitments, full-time study could certainly be an excellent option no matter how old you are. However, if you need to work full-time or have others at home you need to think about, then distance learning may be a better option for your education.

Five Ways to Beat the Homesick Blues in College

Almost every student who goes to college feels homesick sooner or later. But, it’s natural to feel disoriented in your new environment as there’s a series of events that you would be experiencing one after the other. Though every student deals with homesickness in a different way, listed below are some tips that can make the transition a little easier for you:

1. Decorate your new room

Probably getting adjusted to your new room is one the most difficult things to do! You might find your new bed a little uncomfortable and it might be challenging to share your personal belongings and space with new people. But, make it look as nice and comfortable as possible. How about getting a beanbag chair or hanging your favorite posters in your room? You can even decorate your desk with pictures of your friends and family. The mantra is to create a home away from home!

2. Be Socially Active

Rather than continually missing your friends and family back home, channelize your energy and interest in making new friends. Make a new friend in every class that you take. This will help you when you need a study partner. You can even create a study group with selected members of your class and regularly meet at a nearby coffee shop.

3. Join a Club or an organization

Joining a club or an organization is surely a good way to make friends with new people. This also gives you an opportunity to get attuned to campus life. Many colleges have a student center where extracurricular activities are organized, which provides you with an excellent opportunity to find students with similar interests. Think of joining an NGO that allows you to do something for the society, such as those working towards social development, education, health, emergency relief and child welfare. Join CRY, WHO, UNDP, Asha Kiran, which need volunteers on regular basis and give something back to the society. Other than giving you immense satisfaction, it will also add value to your resume.

4. Encourage Your Family Members and Friends to Pay you a Visit

If it’s difficult to go home, you can encourage your friends and family members to pay you a visit. Spending some time with them in your campus would help you a lot. Just walk them around the campus and introduce them to your new friends. Make it large!

5. Go Home

Just when you think you wouldn’t probably miss your family and friends, it’s time for a break. Colleges are not open for 365 days a year. You will get the chance to visit your family during summer or autumn break. You can even plan a long weekend with your family and spend some time in your room. Get comfortable sleep on your bed and ask your mother to cook your favorite meal. Spend time with your old friends and by the end of the week, you will be all charged up to go back to your college.

Keep reminding yourself that homesickness is temporary and is bound to reduce over time. Just give yourself some time to get accustomed to the new environment. Once you develop a comfort level, you will start seeing your dorm room as your new home.

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