AS an ESL tutor, my very first suggestion (that greatly worked for me) would be to set up a personal classroom blog for your students.
How does it motivate students? I’ll get to that in a minute. But before that, let’s get over the technical part. Setting up a blog.
Today, that’s nothing easier than setting up your own blog. There are so, so many platforms where you can get your own little place on the web. WordPress, Tumblr, Edublogs, etc. give you options to host and personalize your blog for free without having to write a single line of code.
Once you’re done setting up the blog, you’re good to go.
How does it motivate the students?
So it’s obvious that the best way to reach your students will be when they are online. People love being a part of a community. They want to be seen, want to be heard, and want to voice their thoughts.
A classroom blog does just that. But for your blog to be effective, you must make it engaging with content that would bring your students to the blog, contribute and share their thoughts.
Post your class discussions on the blog, invite students to share their learnings, what they understood, what they didn’t what they’d like to be changed, etc.
How I did it
I set up a students blog on Edublogs 5 days into my teaching career. I invited my students to subscribe to the blog for updates. They hesitated initially but did it just to play along. I was happy to get them aboard and it was now up to me to make them come in and stay.
I started posting the lessons with some humor and youtube videos. I opened the comments section for the students to engage and sat back with my fingers crossed. To my surprise, students did exactly what I planned. They were motivated to share. They were motivated to speak up, ask questions, answers other students, and post suggestions.
The next morning, I woke up and was thrilled by their interaction. I got some useful insights that I then incorporated in my future lessons.
This slowly became our routine and I’d hang out with my students almost every day even after going home.
This is the power of the internet. #MyStudentMotivation