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Episode 144 - 20 Ways To Motivate Your Students

Season #6

I discuss 20 strategies to motivate students. I highlight the importance of creating a positive learning environment, setting clear expectations, and using varied teaching methods. Offering choices, setting goals, and providing positive reinforcement are effective ways to increase motivation. Connecting learning to personal interests and allowing student autonomy also play a key role. Incorporating competitions, showing enthusiasm, and facilitating self-reflection are additional strategies. Celebrating diversity and creating a sense of belonging in the classroom foster deep learning. Subscribe to for a checklist of these strategies and upcoming updates. Let's motivate our students and keep evolving as effective teachers.


0:00:00 Introduction to the Effective Teaching Podcast

0:00:19 Creating a Positive Learning Environment for Student Motivation

0:03:20 Setting Clear Expectations for Student Motivation

0:04:21 Using Varied Teaching Methods to Motivate Students

0:07:26 Reflecting on progress and motivating with constructive feedback

0:08:48 Incorporating technology and varying teaching methods for motivation

0:15:16 Utilising Competitions for Motivating Students

0:16:27 Showing Enthusiasm as a Teacher to Boost Student Motivation

0:17:47 Facilitating Self-Reflection and Progress Evaluation

Long Summary

In this episode of the Effective Teaching Podcast, the host, Dan, discusses 20 ways to motivate students. He emphasises the importance of creating a positive learning environment where students feel safe to take risks. Dan also highlights the need to set clear expectations and communicate learning objectives to provide students with a roadmap for success. Additionally, he suggests using varied teaching methods to keep students engaged and avoid monotony in the classroom. The host encourages listeners to subscribe to the website,, to receive a checklist with all the motivating strategies discussed.

We need to vary our teaching methods to keep our students motivated. This can include using group tasks, debates, and incorporating technology. Changing things up and providing a different learning experience can excite students and get them engaged. It's important to make the learning relevant to their lives and show them the practical applications of what they're learning. Providing constructive feedback that highlights their progress and sets clear next steps helps students see their improvement and stay motivated. Encouraging collaboration among students fosters a sense of community and accountability. Incorporating technology can also be motivating, but it's important to balance it with other teaching methods. By incorporating different technologies and occasionally going back to traditional methods, we can keep our students engaged and excited about learning.

In order to motivate students in their learning, there are several strategies that we can implement. First, we should offer students choices, such as allowing them to choose the content or where they apply their skills and knowledge. This sense of autonomy increases motivation. Next, setting goals is important but it's necessary to regularly go back and remind students of these goals, refining them as needed. Positive reinforcement is another effective strategy, where we recognize and reward students for their positive behaviors and hard work. It's not necessary to give treats or privileges, simple recognition and praise will do. Connecting learning to personal interests is also crucial, as it allows students to engage more with the subject matter. By getting to know our students, we can find ways to incorporate their interests into our teaching. Providing autonomy and allowing students control over their learning is another way to motivate them. This could include giving them choices in the design of their learning or co-designing lessons with them. Creating a sense of ownership is also important, involving students in decision-making processes and allowing them to have a say in classroom rules and structure. Finally, making learning fun is key to keeping students engaged. It's important to find ways to make the learning experience enjoyable, such as incorporating hands-on activities, changing environments, and making the classroom a lively and energised place. By implementing these strategies, we can effectively motivate our students in their learning journey.

In this part of the podcast, we discuss several strategies to motivate students in the classroom. One strategy is to utilise competitions, either by focusing on improvement as a group or by having straight-out competitions. Competition can motivate higher achievers, but not all students may be motivated by it. Showing enthusiasm for the subject matter is another effective strategy. By expressing excitement and passion, even for topics that may not be considered cool, you can increase student motivation. Facilitating self-reflection is also important. Encouraging students to reflect on their progress and set goals helps them see their growth and motivates them to continue learning. Incorporating real-world examples and scenarios helps students make connections to their own lives and increases motivation. Providing supportive resources, such as scaffolding and templates, helps students see the steps to success and reduces their fear of failure. Lastly, celebrating diversity and appreciating the different backgrounds and contributions of students fosters a positive and inclusive learning environment.

Fostering a sense of belonging in the classroom and celebrating different opinions can drive deeper learning. When a student disagrees with me, I encourage them to explain their perspective so we can understand each other better. This acceptance and celebration of different perspectives leads to deeper learning in the class. Even if a student is completely wrong, I can correct their misunderstanding and motivate them to learn. These strategies can help motivate students in the classroom. If you want a PDF of these strategies, go to and subscribe. By subscribing, you'll also receive emails about new episodes and upcoming courses. I hope you start applying these strategies and share your success stories with me. I am even open to interviewing teachers who have found success with these strategies. Let's keep trying new things and reflecting on our teaching process. Don't forget to subscribe and join me for the next episode of the Effective Teaching Podcast.



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