Student Motivation Problems Stop Here: How to Motivate Students Who Don’t Care About School


how to motivate students article


Student Motivation Problems Stop Here:
How to Motivate Students
Who Don't Care About School


motivational workshops


If you’re completely fed up trying to get the student in your life to look, sound or act like a student should, you can relax. Help is here.

Finally, whether you’re a teacher or parent, you’re going to have the fun, fast, effective ways you need to motivate kids to succeed in school. Yes, even your kid. How do I know? I'm Workshop Presenter and Author Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. First, I’ve spent my whole life as a teacher educator, developing lively, unexpected, more effective methods to motivate even the most motionless youngster. Second, I don’t just talk the talk. I walk the walk. I managed to produce two successful students, one now a special ed teacher, and one a social worker— but there was a time when one of them could rival any of the most do-nothing, “I’ll do it later” offspring out there.

So, parents and teachers, check out a few of my surprising, hard-to-forget, even harder-to-ignore motivational methods for your most unmotivated students.

How to Motivate Students

Stop Talking So Much

That’s right. Pure talk is easily ignored. Kids may hear “blah blah blah.” Even if they do hear what you call “talking”– and they call “lecturing”– your message lasts just seconds or mere minutes. Switch to unexpected, impossible-to-forget methods that aren’t always just verbiage, and most definitely are not lectures that can be ignored or reduced to “blah blah blah.”

Use Methods That Are Attention-Grabbing and Simply Unforgettable

This intervention speaks for itself. It is our Poster #1 and it's ideal for older teens who are failing in school or often truant. It works well visually as a sign or poster, but even when spoken, it makes a much more effective intervention that more lecturing.

Especially when used as a poster, this method is simply insidious. It just nags and haunts every time they see it. Students can’t get it out of their mind— and isn’t that absolutely what you wanted to accomplish.

One of the most important steps to motivating apathetic kids is to get their attention and keep it. This device, which is one of my most famous motivational posters, will do that.


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article on how to motivate students


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poster motivates students

Poster #316

Detour Around Resistance with Humor

Absolutely nothing is more effective to beat back resistance to change than humor. Poster #316 is the perfect example of that. It is tough for a kid to stay defiant and oppositional when they’re laughing. Humor can be short and sweet, and still deliver your motivational method more effectively than even the longest lecture. Check out one of my recent creations, Poster #316, shown at right.






Classroom poster motivates students

Poster #128

Go Nuclear

For the Facebook generation, it has to be over-the-top to register and stick, so use methods that are edgy, unexpected and most importantly, so surprising that your message can’t be ignored and won’t be forgotten.

Simply posting an official looking document like my popular Poster #128, shown here, will generate upset, surprise and worry—and that may be what it takes to motivate older, tougher, really resistant adolescents.





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About Ruth Herman Wells

Author/Trainer Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. is the director of Youth Change Professional Development Workshops. In 2011, Ruth was rated as a Top 10 U.S. K-12 educational and motivational speaker by Speakerwiki and Speakermix. She is the author of several book series, a columnist, adjunct professor for two universities, and a popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Ruth's dozens of books includes Temper and Tantrum Tamers and Turn On the Turned-Off Student.

Got Problem Students? Help is on the way. Watch for solutions for cyberbullying, work refusal, violence and more in each blog post.