Motivational Climate

An essential part of organizing the classroom involves developing a climate in which teachers encourage students to do their best and to be excited about what they are learning. There are two factors that are critical in creating such a motivational climate: value and effort. To be motivated, students must see the worth of the work that they are doing and the work others do. A teacher's demonstration of value shows students how their work is worthwhile and is connected to things that are important for them, including other learning and interests. Effort ties the time, energy, and creativity a student uses to develop the "work," to the value that the work holds. One way that teachers encourage effort is through specific praise, telling students specifically what it is that they are doing that is worthwhile and good. In combination an understanding of the value of academic tasks and the effort necessary to complete these tasks motivate students to learn.

It is possible to create a setting that appears to be well managed, where room arrangement, rules, and procedures are operating well, but where little actual learning takes place. However, when a teacher creates structure and order, as well as a learning environment in which students feel the excitement of learning and success, then the classroom can truly be said to be well managed. At the beginning of the year, teachers must set expectations and create a motivational climate for learning and combine this with orchestrating the physical space in order to both create and implement a successful classroom management system.

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