Having students who are motivated in the class to learn and complete projects are always a goal of mine and probably many teachers. I’m constantly trying to increase motivation for students and realize that this will never be 100% perfect for all of my students, but it is something that I can strive to work on and continuously improve!
There are many different types of motivation. The graphic below does a great job of visualizing this in the Continuum of Motivation.
For myself personally, as a student, I was most of time motivated socially and achievement based. I wanted to please the teacher, and receive a good grade in the class. As a teacher now, I try to get students to be motivated by extrinsically, but intrinsically.
For middle school students, I think social motivators are very common. Kids want to fit in and be liked by their peers. I have been guilty of also using this in my class as a form of competition for students and classes. Whether it’s a review game that puts the class against one another, it seems to help my students want to study more. When it comes to little things like that I don’t feel it entirely bad or wrong to do. However, if my goal is to have student motivated to learn and grow as individuals because they value that education, I should try and change my mindset on this.