Classroom Ambience Affects Student Motivation. 

            Is it safe to make a mistake in your classroom?  Will the student be made to feel inferior in this classroom or will he be encouraged to do better and shown how to do what is required of him? Make sure the student knows that this is “our” classroom, our laboratory, our safe haven, where ideas are tested and where we are involved in a search for the truth about anything we investigate.  This is part of classroom ambience. The classroom is whatever a teacher wants it to be. Some classrooms are hostile to learning, while others nurture learning. At no time should students feel uncomfortable with the teacher, themselves, or other students. The teacher creates and maintains classroom ambience at all times. The better the classroom ambience, the fewer behavioral problems will exist. Classroom ambience goes far in motivating the student. Make sure yours is clean and has audio visual equipment to aid you in your teaching.           

            I was on a website where a teacher wrote that students must be given goals as a means of motivation. I believe that students need to work towards goals, but they must be shown the steps that are needed to achieve those goals. That is important. Together they form a great way to motivate students.           

            Finally, a teacher’s enthusiasm for the subject he or she teaches cannot be overstated. The truth is out. A teacher’s enthusiasm for his subject will also infect his students with enthusiasm. How does one teach figures of speech? An English teacher in high school taught me the figures of speech by reading “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes to us. Personification, metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia, were all there for us to learn. I have never forgotten my figures of speech and have learned others beside. All this occurred because of one teacher’s enthusiasm for a poem that could teach us figures of speech. It was also as some say “a good read.” 

            Make sure students see you in the college library. Plan your lessons there. Take books out. Buy old books that the college sells. Tell them about the latest book you are reading. Have them recommend books to you. One of my students recommended The Tao of Physics to me. I read it and thanked him for it. I relished reading it. Show them that you are a learner first and a teacher second. Show them that teachers are constantly learning. This may inspire them.           

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each stop you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” Mark Victor Hansen 

 [1] Motivation by Wendy Pan

[2] Pirsig, Robert.  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. New York: Bantam Books,  1974.

Ralph SirventRalph Sirvent., Jr.,  M.A. was a Senior Adjunct Professor of English at Atlantic Cape Community College. He attended and graduated Binghamton University.
Professor Sirvent is a Co-Author of the new book Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways To Improve Your Grades Faster