How Can I Motivate my Students to Study?


This question often comes up when I speak to other teachers. We also talk about how we can make their students pay attention during the lessons as well as how to make our lessons more dynamic and engaging.

I don’t have a magic pill, but I have been thinking about student motivation for years. I’ve done massive amounts of reading and research, and I keep trying new things. Student motivation fascinates me.

My intention here is to be an instigator. I want to help change the way teachers look at student motivation. I see things that need to change. I know how things can change, and I care enough about the way things in the current system are going that I want to help change the way teachers go about motivating their students.

Teaching found me later in life. I’d been a therapist in New York and, after an international move to the Netherlands, a friend suggested I think about teaching as my next career move. It was an astonishingly good fit.

I’m a speaker and a writer, and I’ve been teaching and training since 2006. I have given classes and workshops in schools, at the corporate level and for diverse organizations.

Dealing with college students can be challenging because they have so many distractions, and their attitudes and motivations towards learning are so varied. Today’s newest college students are also members of a new generation: Generation Z. These students experience the world differently than the generations before them.

A few years into my career, I had managed to get and hold the attention of my students (most of the time), but I wanted to increase the level of their motivation so that they actually become inspired to learn.

One day I realized that in order to have intrinsically motivated students, I would need to rethink the way I was approaching the lessons. That exploration resulted in my forthcoming book.

The Inspired Student is the amalgamation of compelling research, actual experience and the love of teaching.