Motivating/ Encouraging
Reluctant Learners
Jennifer Wagner
"You cannot teach people anything.
You can only help
them discover it within themselves."
Capture Their
• Get the students involved as soon as they
enter the class
• Use meaningful subject-oriented activities
or get right into lesson
• By engaging students right away will be
easier to keep them focused for the
• Do not distract by being vague of what is
coming next
• Call students by name
Use Your Full
Class Period
• Plan for your full class time, over plan
• Stay relevant, stay concise, stay on task
• Last thought as they close the book, leave the
classroom, move on to next activity MUST be
what was just shared.
• Be attentive, alert, and aware of distracters
Use Games, Puzzles, Online
• Puzzles
• Old Games – new ideas
• Use cartoons as story starters
Student Must
Feel Worth
Student of the month
Know their name and at least one personal trait
Eliminate the red pencil for reluctant students
2 good things before 1 correction
Find ways to praise – even the smallest
• Do not place the student in a situation where
he/she will have to rebel
• Be aware of fatigue and disappointment
• Applaud the successes – both one on one
and to the group, and to the parent, AND to
other teachers
• When necessary, review situations and
Set realistic goals
Meet often to review
Baby Steps at times, jump forward at others
Reward only when achieved
Rewind if necessary, Review, Restructure,
and Restart
In Touch
Positive phone calls first
Get parents to be advocates
Include student in discussions
Brag about student
Remember how you discuss student today
will affect his tomorrow with next year’s
• Thumper’s Mom Rule – “if you can’t say
something nice……”