How to be a good teacher: Ask one

good teacher motivatesIn our last article we discussed how wanting it is the first step toward achieving being great at what you do.

I decided that the best way to find out what made great teachers was to ask former classmates who I had similar experiences with, but who also went on to work or be involved in academia. So they became teachers themselves, did they change the ways we didn’t like so much in school? Did they become good teachers?

My friend Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemisty; I never expected that he would end up teaching high-school kids, let alone be the person who couldn’t imagine himself doing anything else. Apart from teaching, he has gone on to further enhance his education with teaching certifications and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

We discussed his job, the kids, and the rewards; today I’ll give you his take on Motivation, and why it’s essential for teachers to be motivated in order to perform in class.

There are two kinds of motivation:

  • Intrinsic, the one you are born with – a natural drive.
  • Extrinsic, the one derived from external factors – like money, benefits etc.

Being intrinsically motivated is something you may sometimes not realize, because we don’t always know what we want to do, or what we are good at. Some grow up determined to do something, for others – it takes trial and error to realize what they are meant to be doing.

The good teacher’s path is one of great value. The teacher is the individual called upon to shape a generation, and as such, one must be motivated to be successful.

I like to hear stories, so I let Chris talk about the children, and the reasons why being a teacher gives you one of the most unique feelings in the world.

You’re the king of the castle

Teachers, like employees, are bound by hierarchies and organizational structures, but just like a manager of his very own team, a teacher has great autonomy and the ability to conduct class in the way he chooses. A classroom is a field open for play, and the teacher is the coach – leading the team of children toward conquering learning and creating an appetite for education.
Like most other professions, teaching is an ever-growing job; as new material comes out, so do new methods to teach it, and newer generations of teachers can use creativity to think of new ways to get kids interested and engaged.

Live for that “lightbulb” moment

Teaching predetermined content with certain learning objectives is only one part of what a teacher does. One of the most profound moments in a teacher’s tenure is when a student realizes they have earned something from the teachings. The moment in which suddenly everything makes sense, and all the months of classes lead to a great conclusion.

You never run out of kids!

Unlike most professions that run on the standard supply and demand curve to determine productivity, teachers have a standard rate of demand for education, which is children, and they never stop coming! Chris displayed a very high level of involvement with his students, to the point that he told me he wants to keep his post at least until his current kids graduate. I came to realize that teachers develop a relationship with “their kids” so strong, that the job becomes a lot more about seeing the effects of education on children, rather than the tangible rewards that follow.

How we can apply the effects of intrinsic motivation in eLearning

With great power comes great responsibility

Finding what you know well and deciding to teach others is the first step. Realizing the responsibility that comes with that is the trick behind becoming motivated to do it right! Try different things – not one method is perfect, and not one perfect method suits everyone. Education doesn’t work with a one-size-fits all model. Incorporate different assessments and test methods to engage a larger part of your learners.

Educate and watch as individuals grow

Establish meaningful relationships with the tools provided by your LMS. ELearning is primarily distance learning, but the distance can be bridged with the plethora of internet tools incorporated into Learning Management Systems nowadays. Discussion forums and conferences are a great way to keep in touch with your learners, promote discussion and critical thinking, as well as the sense of community and team spirit.

Keep material up to date

Since eLearning is based on the Internet, it’s much easier to research and know when changes occur in the field you are teaching. Make sure to always keep your material up to date to make sure that students are always offered timely and accurate content so as to have satisfied learners who are motivated to learn and come back for more.


What is your method of choice to keep learners engaged? Which teaching tactic do you hold in great regard and how do you apply that in eLearning?

Save time, frustration and money with TalentLMS, the most-affordable and user-friendly learning management system on the market. Try it for free for as long as you want and discover why our customers consistently give us 4.5 stars (out of 5!)

Try for free!

Start your eLearning portal in 30 seconds!

Get started it's free!

TalentLMS is free to use for as long as you want! You can always upgrade to a paid plan to get much more!