Motivation after Spring Break

Returning from spring break is hard for students.  Whether they used break for fun or work, getting back on track and regaining momentum are essentials for successfully completing the semester.  Motivation is a factor that both students and faculty must nurture.  You have a role in producing motivation.  In Thinking about Teaching and Learning (p. 74), Robert Leamnson says:

Motivation is something that students must initiate.  Fortunately, the initiation is not impervious to outside influence.  Some teachers manage to do something, or be something, that persuades students to read about, talk about, and write about content, and so learn it, but what about parents. It’s your job to offer support, discusses academic and personal successes with your student, and to listen to the challenges they think they area facing. Below are some helpful strategies that you can share or ask your student about.

Tips to Motivate Student Learning after Spring Break

1. Ask your student to assess their learning to this point in the semester.

They should take time to examine their performance on finished tests, quizzes, papers and projects which can help them understand how to adjust their study habits for better performance.  Several websites offer post-test surveys that can help students determine what went wrong and how to adjust study skills.

2. Help your student practice weekly calendar reviews and updates

On Sunday night they should review their syllabi and calendar to be mindful of deadlines and approaching exams or papers.

3. Ask your student how they prioritize assignments.

If they know that a major project is coming due, how do they plan their time effectively? Have they tried dividing large assignments into manageable parts and holding themselves to accomplishing each part in a timely way.  Accomplishing manageable goals increases student self-confidence.

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4. Does your student need to explore alternative study places?

As the weather warms, they could try to find a spot outdoors where they enjoy working that is free from distractions where they can study.  Even diffuse sunlight by a window can increase their energy and focus.

5. How can your student connect with fellow students to study?

Working with classmates can get them back on track to refocus on what is important and to provide accountability in the last part of the semester.