Motivating Teachers — What Your Students Think About You
How is our teaching force doing today?
After over a year of teaching courses through various online learning platforms, the education sector has done the necessary means to successfully implement online learning. Teachers have just started to get used to setting up Zoom meetings for their class, live streaming discussions, and facilitating breakout rooms for class activities.
It’s impressive how educators have found new and innovative ways to teach during a pandemic — from using social media platforms to their advantage to using various learning tools to make discussions engaging and effective for their students.
But adjusting to the sudden shift in teaching admittedly took more time and effort for our teachers. One challenge after another had to be overcome to make sure that a student’s learning experience in online learning is not compromised.
However… it can’t be denied that there is a significant increase in stress and burnout level in our teaching force.
From redefining learning outlines, finding the right tools to use for online classes, keeping up with the technologies being used and looking for new ways to do things that used to be familiar and simple, teachers are bone-tired and demotivated.
Teachers play a crucial role during this critical time but if the unsung heroes loses their motivation to teach, this will certainly leave the education sector at loss.
There is nothing wrong with admitting that you’re exhausted and your morale is low. Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you are tired and you need rest.
You’re tired? That’s okay! Even heroes need to rest.
A teacher’s motivation and morale contributes to how one delivers their lessons to their students and how they deal with their class but more importantly, a teacher’s motivation to teach has an impact on a student’s motivation to learn.
There have been several surveys conducted during the stretch of the last school year to find out how teachers are coping and how they feel about the challenges that came with shifting to online learning.
Teachers have voiced out their exhaustion and how low their morale is due to several factors and one of them is lack of support and recognition.
Teaching comes with a satisfaction that you can guide students to the path that they desire for their future and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you are able to do this for your students and they see your passion for teaching during these tough times.
Sometimes, you’d just like to hear what your students think about your efforts.
Now that you are closely working with your students, asking and hearing their opinions and thoughts is more relevant that ever.
“I can say that all my professors put all their efforts to teach us. I am beyond grateful for my CCS professors for understanding their students. Not all students are privileged to have their own laptops. Instead, they help students by giving allotted time to pass activities. What students need in this shift to online learning is understanding which our professors are giving without any fail.” - Statement from 3rd year BSCS Student, Cebu Institute of Technology-University
Your students has definitely known you better in this journey. They have seen the time and efforts that you’ve put into establishing a positive learning environment for them.
But how do I ask for their feedbacks?
There are several ways to ask your students for their feedback and it depends on how you would want to receive them and the questions you’ve asked — so make sure to ask the right questions!
- Send out Google Forms and you can give them the option to give their feedback anonymously.
- Set a feedback activity where you discuss your “Hopes” and “Fears” in your class. It’s definitely a fun way to know what they’re thinking and what they expect from you!
- Start a Focus Group. Engage your students in conversations where you give out questions and keep a conversation going with a goal in mind to take action on the results you’ll be getting in the end.
- Have a Suggestion Box after each discussion. You can setup a “suggestion box” every time you end your discussion. This way, students are able to give you timely feedback and let you know what they thought of today’s lecture.
How will this help and keep me motivated?
Receiving feedback can you help you in many ways. It can help you know you’ve improved, which areas you need to improve and what you can do more. And when you receive positive and constructive feedback, this impacts your motivation and your performance.
Feedback is powerful and how powerful it is depends on how you’ll be using what your students think about you.
Teachers are the unsung heroes of our society during this pandemic. They’ve invested time, effort and sacrificed a lot to make sure that no student will be left behind. But heroes also need to hear how well they’ve done.
There is a continuous drive to improve online learning and in this drive, support and recognition for educators should be on top of the list.
Teachers do not forget to prioritize their students’ motivation and morale but it is also important that you, as a teacher, also take time to rest, reset your mind and not forget self-care.
At some point during this crucial time where you’re faced with formidable challenges, you’ll be demotivated and no one will see the efforts you’ve put into making your class engaging and fun.
But… you’re still here and still teaching to the best of your ability. Remember the satisfaction that you get for every successful student you’ve guided and don’t forget why you started.
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