Teacher Motivation

It is generally assumed that motivation influences people's attitude and performance at work. Teacher motivation is directly linked to the instructors' desire to take part in the pedagogical process and interest in sharing their knowledge with the students. It determines their involvement or non-involvement in the teaching activities. Teaches put educational philosophy and objective into the knowledge they transfer to their students.

Teachers are the most important factor in a generation's education process, so it is important that they perform to the best of their abilities in the educational activity. Each country's authorities must pay attention to the factors that affect teachers' performance which has a direct effect on students' performance.

Teachers' motivation is influenced by a myriad of factors, including compensation, success in the classroom, their dedication to the profession, the training they receive and the prospect of promotion and career advancement.

Compensation influences teacher education, but in many cases it is not the most or the only important factor. Teachers may be compensated through salaries, bonuses, training programs or special assistance such as shelter and transport support. If teachers are not paid, or if they are not paid on a regular basis, their motivation will be affected and they might start teaching irregularly or leave their jobs.

A good teacher compensation system will increase motivation, decrease absenteeism and at the same time create a stabilized and reliable teaching system in the country.

Teachers' motivation is influenced by their working conditions too. An appropriate environment in which the teacher feels safe and healthy and has access to supportive resources and facilities will help teachers participate more in the process of teaching, management and administration. Moreover, teacher motivation is influenced by the number of hours the instructor has to work every week, the number of students in the classroom and at the same time by parents' involvement and support.

When teachers are motivated and love their teaching profession they will motivate their students to learn.

Individuals are motivated by money, power or praise. As teachers can't motivate students by offering money or power, they should focus on praise. Some students are self-motivated and their actions are a result of their desire to face challenges. Teachers can praise, promote and encourage this personal trait by showing students their efforts are worthwhile and that they will benefit from them.

Although there is no formula to increase students' self-motivation, there are however a few things teachers can do. Frequent positive feedback on students' work will support their beliefs that they can do well. All students, even low performers, must receive praise individually, but teachers should praise the class as a whole to encourage it and build team unity. However, too much praise will make students become dependent on it and develop no personal initiative. Praise may become only a pleasure for the students instead of a means of motivating them.

Teachers can increase students' self-motivation by helping them find personal meaning in the materials they are being presented with, by creating an open and positive atmosphere in the classroom and by making them feel that they are valued and important members of the learning community.

Students are motivated when the learning material satisfies their own needs or reasons for enrolling in the course. Learning how to perform a task or activity is rewarding and will motivate students more than grades do.

Another means of motivating students is by making them active participants in learning. Students learn more effectively by doing, writing, creating and solving. Passivity decreases students' motivation and interest. Students should be encouraged to express their ideas, ask questions and suggest approaches to a problem.

Teachers' expectations have a powerful effect on students' performance. Research has shown that if the teacher acts as though he expects the students to be hardworking and motivated, there are more likely to be so. However, teachers should set realistic goals for their students and assign appropriate tasks. If teachers' standards are too high, there are chances students will feel frustrated they can't meet the expectations and thus become less motivated to learn.

Teachers' enthusiasm has a strong impact on students' motivation. Bored and apathetic teachers will transfer their mood to their students who will become less interested in the topic or less motivated to learn.

Another means of increasing students' motivation is to emphasize learning rather than receiving good grades. Teachers should stress the personal satisfaction which results from accomplishing a task and its use in everyday life rather than focusing on complicated grading systems.

Teacher Motivation: Selected full-text books and articles

On Teacher Hope, Sense of Calling, and Commitment to Teaching By Bullough, Robert V., Jr.; Hall-Kenyon, Kendra M Teacher Education Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 2, Spring 2012
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Effects of Sources of Motivation on Teachers' Motivation Levels By Kocabas, Ibrahim Education, Vol. 129, No. 4, Summer 2009
Maintaining Teacher Motivation By Czubaj, Camilia Anne Education, Vol. 116, No. 3, Spring 1996
What Principals Think Motivates Teachers By Diamantes, Thomas Journal of Instructional Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 1, March 2004
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Motivation, Work Satisfaction, and Teacher Change among Early Childhood Teachers By Wagner, Brigid Daly; French, Lucia Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Vol. 24, No. 2, April-June 2010
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Management and Motivation: An Analysis of Productivity in Education and the Workplace By Reiger, Robert C.; Stang, Judith Education, Vol. 121, No. 1, Fall 2000
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