Motivation Skill – Core Teaching Skills Series – Post 1



“Motivation refers to the state within a person that drives behavior towards some goal.” – Moran & King

Motivation skill plays an important role in teaching profession. A self-motivated teacher is focused on his/her growth and the growth of the students. There are different shades of motivation style which a teacher uses to motivate students. This article describes each of those motivation styles, their importance, and how measuring them is essential for school’s growth.

A few teachers believe that being strict to students can motivate them to achieve their goals. This kind of style comes under punishment-based motivation style. Sometimes, presence of this style is good to have better control over the class. But, if this style is used too often, it can create problems for students, parents, and school.
The other shade of motivation style is perfection-based motivation in which a teacher sets a goal and motivates his/her students to achieve that goal. In this style, a teacher wants the students to be better than earlier. Let us take an example:

A teacher is teaching an elder as well as a younger sibling in different classes. Younger sibling is not good in a few subjects but the elder one is brilliant. The teacher with perfection-based style would discuss the younger student’s performance in the class in polite manner and compare him with his/her elder sibling’s performance as a goal to achieve. Or the teacher would have a one-to-one talk with the younger one and motivate him/her to follow the elder sibling’s example. This motivation style can trigger the student’s performance; but it is not applicable in every situation. Such comparison or goal-relating can set inferiority among the students or may create a habit of constant comparison among students.

Another and the most important shade of motivation style is student-centric motivation. In this style, a teacher tries to understand – where do the student stand in terms of performance, what can motivate the student, and what kind of motivation the situation demands. After understanding these aspects, the teacher can have one-to-one discussion with the student to motivate him/her by using the style the situation demands. This increases student’s commitment towards performance and also builds a trust between teacher and student. Teacher who belong to this motivation style is an essential need of today. Such teachers can motivate most of the students. In the above example, teacher will encourage the student to perform better and also will provide help, if needed.

It is evident that pursuing one style of motivation in teaching will not help students as well as teacher. There needs to be a combination of all the styles for a better teaching-learning environment. However for that to happen, it is very important to understand the primary motivation style of a teacher so that the teacher can grow or can be groomed to improve performance by knowing her natural primary style.

To understand teacher’s primary motivation style, it is necessary to measure it. Motivation is a subjective skill and is difficult to measure. But it is not impossible to measure. This is done by collecting inputs on this skill from multiple stakeholders who are associated with the teachers. This provides an insight into the motivation style a teacher is using in day-to-day life. From the collected and analysed responses, the data analytics team can understand the teacher’s motivational style. Analytics team after that tries to understand how the motivation skill is associated with other skills of that teacher. This gives immense understanding about teachers’ skill set and insights on the skills the teacher needs to be groomed on. It also provides an understanding about what is contributing and hampering the performance of the teacher. Such insights on teachers’ skills help principal to take effective decisions on teachers’ grooming, performance, and on overall teaching quality in school. If these insights are available to the principal, he/she can free up more quality time for other important tasks at hand.

About the author:

Megha is a Data Analyst with myNalanda. Her work involves understanding the data of teachers’ skill-sets and analysing it to find the trends that would help the teachers and the school to grow. This helps her to profile teachers on their skill strengths and areas of development.

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