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Motivating Students in Primary School is Crucial for Their Future

Aug 9, 2018 by

Children are innocent and unprepared for the tough world that awaits them when they grow up, so it is the duty of the parents and the teachers to not only adequately prepare them for a successful life, but also to encourage the right instincts, talents, and tendencies embedded in the young mind so that they can help to improve the lives of people around them, as well as that of their own. This encouragement should ideally begin as early as primary school and should continue for the rest of the school years. However, what parents and even teachers often forget is the fact that the most impressionable years in a child’s life are spent in primary school. It would be wrong to assume that children cannot be positively influenced after a certain age and a lot does depend on the personality and development of the children themselves. However, there is no doubt about the fact that the early, formative years are the best time for a teacher to intelligently direct a child’s efforts and energy in the right directions. Some of the basic but effective methods that are often employed by successful teachers in various institutions across the UK are as follows:

Approval

Children look up to the people in charge for support and approval because they are still learning and need the confirmation from their adults to determine the right path. As a teacher holds one of the most authoritative positions in a primary school student’s life outside the home, all students look up to their teachers for approval, support, and direction. A teacher is supposed to channel that power of approval towards encouraging the children when they do something right or try something new and innovative, irrespective of its scale or result. For example, when a particular student isn’t doing as well as the others, but there is no lack of effort in him/her, the approval of their efforts, alongside guidance and encouragement towards improvement can work wonders. Once the student is able to get over the problem, a belief in his/her own abilities to overcome obstacles in life is implanted, along with a strong sense of confidence that cannot be attained at an older age.

Expression

Children in between the ages of 3 – 6 (the range will vary, depending on the child) are more fond of bright colours and vivid expressions than random scribbles by teachers on their homework and schoolwork. Stamps such as the teacher stamps from stamps4you.co.uk are very popular in primary schools all around the UK because they are designed with this very idea of expressive teaching in mind. Stamps4You provide teacher stamps with smiley faces, stars, doodles, small words of encouragement and bright colours work better when it comes to encouraging young children and motivating them towards betterment. The demeanour of the teacher is also very important because most students in primary school will not be able to understand whether their teacher approves of them and their actions, unless they are expressive about it. Affection and positive attention show the students that their teacher is approving of their actions and they are doing a good job.

Disapproval

Disapproval is another necessary tool in the arsenal of the primary school teacher, and it’s no less important than approval. While approving the right behaviour tends to set the minds of the children in the right direction, disapproving wrong actions prevents the students from getting diverted towards the wrong path. Punishment in its entirety is not necessary to show disapproval to a primary schooler, but the simple act of denying them the approval, which they are seeking from a wrong action, is sufficient in most situations to set the tone right. The failure to show disapproval in primary school is often the reason why a lot of students find it particularly hard to change when they get to junior school.

Incentivisation

Not everyone in class shows the same level of enthusiasm to act in any one way or the other, therefore, it is imperative to get them involved in everyday school affairs through incentivisation. Giving children a reason to do the right things and excel in class is how incentivisation works here. For example, stickers/team points/prizes for everybody on achieving an objective collectively where everyone in class is given a specific task, works very well. This also helps to build teamwork and encourages socialisation; skills that will come in particularly handy as they grow older.

The experiences children have during their most impressionable years go a long way to shape their future personalities. All the factors discussed here are very important for schools, teachers, and parents to understand and realise. A common mistake that teachers often make is that of not being able to balance discipline with lenience and that’s understandable, since it is particularly tricky in primary school. Nevertheless, overstrictness may lead to the student being successful in academic life, but the anxiety-prone personality, which is often a result of overstrictness at home or school or both, could also lead to low confidence, reduced self-esteem, and the inability to think creatively outside the box. Being too lenient on the other hand, will hamper the child’s ability to understand and respect boundaries and rules. Striking the balance is key for every teacher in every class, but it is of the most educational value when practised in primary school.

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