Students can lose motivation if they aren’t grasping concepts or if they do poorly on assignments and tests. Educator and school psychologist, Allen Mendler, Ph.D., noted in his book, Motivating Students Who Don’t Care, that praising students when they fail is a good motivator.
When grading tests and assignments, instead of just marking all the wrong answers, teachers should add notes of praise next to the right answers. And for parents, reinforcing all the right answers will go a long way to help your student feel competent. This helps students gain a sense of accomplishment, even though they got some questions wrong. Encouragement from teachers, parents, and Learning Coaches can help students to be more motivated in school and inspire them to do better next time.
Parents and teachers should also separate effort from achievement. They can do this by praising students for putting in the effort and trying their best even if the outcome wasn’t the grade they wanted. Receiving recognition for their hard work will motivate students to continue putting in the work to achieve better results. Parents especially can define what success looks like for their families; it might not always include getting straight As.