The most basic principle of teaching-learning in the process is that learning is more fruitful when it is enjoyed. Psychologically speaking, children seem to easily get pleasure from fun activities as they play games that will make them laugh and maneuver their bodies as they do the actions. In reverse, students in higher education levels require more elevated degree of motivation, so that teachers can capture their attentions while on the process of discussion or demonstration. It is not anymore a problem when pupils in elementary schools need much creative methodologies in terms of learning since there is also what Lev Vygotsky theorized as the Zone of Proximal Development. Aside from games, technology advancement captivates children’s mood, so that they have a proper attitude on a collaborative execution.

In this case, an existing challenge to a teacher is how he or she will come up with motivations that could give rise to the self-esteem of high school students. It is because somehow, maturity is a factor and their expectations are getting even higher. There are four possible ways on how to enhance students’ enthusiasm:

  1. Put a twist in a simple game. Games are common in school adventures. It helps students respond to a certain stimulus. But as a teacher, you do not want to spoil the interests of the students. That is why simple games can now be made peculiar. Just for example, if you are teaching English and your lesson tackles about literature, it is normal that high school students feel bored not because they hate the subject, but because reading or listening is tough for them. Group the students according to their columns and ask them to align themselves in single lines. Afterwards, tell the students in front (for every line) the instructions they will do for the game. They have to pass the message until the end of the line not by speaking, but by acting or moving actions. Once they all guessed the words, phrases, or sentences, it is time for them to analyze and conjure the lesson to be tackled. In this way, they will feel that a sort of surprise is still waiting for them.
  2. Do not lecture always, rather, do it in activity-based. Lecturing has been a serious struggle of the students especially if the atmosphere in the classroom is quite sleepy. They find it difficult to stay awake and alert to avoid being called during the recitation. To avoid this kind of predicament, a simple way to consider is to replace lecture with activities where the students will be more responsible for their own learning. Thus, the teacher’s role is to facilitate and maintain the ongoing process. However, the disadvantage is that there are still students who do not like to cooperate. Aside from appointing them as the leaders per group, ask them about their interests and give them tasks where they can freely move and collaborate.
  3. Surprise them of an activity to recap the previous days’ lessons. Quiz-bee style is more convenient than an unannounced recitation. However, make sure that it is not an individualistic attack. Let them work with pairs (dyads) or triads. This is to ensure that every one is doing the best he or she can to avoid so much pressure for those who are classified as lower achievers. Remember, not all classrooms accommodate homogeneous students. There are other surprises where everyone plays the important role. For instance, if you want to measure how far they have gone in school, instruct them to bring out their pens and notebooks, write all the things they learned as many as they can by giving them a time limit. Afterwards, the one who wrote the most will be guaranteed a privilege that will be set by the teacher – either additional points or exemption from a task. This way, they will be encouraged to do better for the next time.
  4. Make sure you give intrinsic or extrinsic motivation to students who did well. As a teacher, you should not be thrifty on addressing praises especially if someone did a job-well-done. It makes them even livelier and more confident to answer and participate. In addition, do not tell students negative comments when they answered wrongly. It is improper because it will just push them not to try by the next recitation. Always encourage students by giving them equal treatments. Somehow, extrinsic motivation does its part. You may give chocolates, candies, and other useful stuffs to commend the learners for their works. It does not mean that you are teaching them to be materialistic. It lifts their energy to do more.

All of these possible ways may not be enough. But there is nothing wrong on trying. Success always comes after.

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