Are your students struggling to get anything done? Do you often find yourself having to encourage your student to get their homework finished or start that assignment they’ve been putting off all weekend? It sounds like you’ve got a bit of an unproductive student on your hands. Motivation and perseverance comes about a little sparingly in your household. It’s hard to get them ready and focused on the tasks, but they’ve gotta get the job done. To help them do so, you might need to give them a helping hand.
The best way to get things done is to set it out. Put it all down. Writing an outline of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done makes your student accountable for their studies. A due date on the wall next to a list of tasks that need to be done to make sure it is in on time assists in building up the motivation to tackle it.
But I bet your student still needs a little more motivation. Why not set out some goals? Better yet, set out some SMART goals. For those trying to figure what the heck each letter means, let me spell it out for you. S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Attainable, R – Relevant, T – Time-based. These types of goals make the work seem a little less trivial and more achievable. Literally mapping out what your student wants to achieve by the end of it all will surely spark some sort of creativity or get them out of their funk or writer’s block that’s been preventing them from getting it all done in the first place.
For the younger students though, maybe goals and setting it all down just isn’t going to work. For one, their goals are a little smaller in the younger grades. Finishing a 1,000 word essay now becomes trying to master your 3 times-tables or finding the difference between vowels and consonants. Which by the way are still just as big goals…just for tinier people, … but we can see why making sure that’s relevant or measurable becomes a little bit tricker. So for my younger friends, I have a suggestion. Two words, one piece of paper, a commitment contract. Now, this one isn’t legally binding I can assure you. But what this little but mighty piece of paper can do is, it can hold those younger students accountable and committed to their schooling. Starting off with a statement like ‘I will focus on…’ to then something like ‘I am committed to…’ is the easiest way to get your commitment contract signed. Students can put in their own focuses and commitments to tailor it to their own learning, but at the end of the day, that squiggly red texta signature down the bottom means they’ve got to stick to it.
Being productive doesn’t mean you have to nag. Yeah sure, it’s frustrating when they’d rather watch Netflix than finish that report, but let’s face it, we would too. But getting those SMART goals and Commitment Contracts set in order will make for some super productive, super motivated and super focused students…hopefully.