How to Motivate Lazy Students (For Teachers)

Motivation is often the key to success and teachers and parents alike should spend time motivating their students. When students are motivated, they are likely to perform better. This motivation can stimulate their interest in completing work, increase participation in class discussions, and encourage studying for exams. It is important for all students to be motivated in order to enjoy the learning process and retain the information they are being taught.

Method 1 – Appealing to Students

  1. Make class interesting. It can be difficult to motivate lazy students with boring classes. Teachers should strive to fascinate their students. The more a student enjoys class, the more they will retain information.
  2. Design engaging lessons. Utilize the plethora of technology that is available to make lessons exciting and interactive for the students. Once you grab students’ attention they are more willing to listen and learn.
  • For science lessons, bring in artifacts like insects, animals, fossils, plants, etc.
  • Conduct experiments for history and science lessons.
  • Organize scavenger hunts around the classroom or school.
  • Go on virtual field trips.
  • Use an interactive whiteboard for students use to complete math equations, answer questions, complete sorting activities, etc.
  • Play video clips and movies relevant to lessons such as National Geographic videos, and historical videos.
  • Put on plays for literature and history lessons.
  • Let students teach the class certain concepts.
  • Play music during lessons.
  1. Dress up and utilize props. This works best for history and literature lessons. Teachers can use props and even dress up during the start of units.
  • During Shakespearean units, speak with an accent and get into character. You can even ask to students to try it as well.
  • When teaching a unit on medieval times, dress in old-fashioned clothing of the times.
  • Bring in old newspapers featuring news from historical events.
  • Show students old political cartoons during historical lessons.
  1. Learn student interests. Incorporate the interests of your students in your lesson plans. You can gather this information at the start of the year by having students fill out “favorites” cards.
  2. Offer extra credit. Sometimes students become lazy when they feel they are not being properly awarded for their efforts in the classroom or when opportunities to boost their grades are unavailable.
  • Let students earn extra points for additional assignments.
  • Don’t offer extra points for bringing items in for the class like as tissue or pencils.
  • Allow students to redo the test with the lowest score.
  • Let students revise a project worth a lot of points.
  1. Display enthusiasm. Sometimes students find classes to be dull, causing them to be unmotivated. Teachers ought to exude a certain sense of passion while teaching. When students are able to see their teacher lecture with some gusto, they are more likely to listen and participate.
  • Smile when you are lecturing so students see you enjoy what you are teaching.
  • Speak loudly and passionately, changing tone and avoiding sounding monotonous.


Method 2 – Establishing Classroom Consequences

  1. Set clear expectations. Make certain that all of your students as well as their parents or guardians are aware of the expectations you set for the year. If you alert them about the types of behavior you require, students and parents can be held accountable.
  • During open house or welcome back events, explain your class expectations and have handouts readily available.
  • Send home student/parent contracts in which both parties sign a document acknowledging the class expectations and the promise to work hard.
  1. Sustain expectations. Don’t change established expectations and be sure to uphold them all year round. If students begin to see leniency they will try to take advantage.
  2. Maintain consistency. Hold every student accountable for adhering to the expectations you set and be as consistent as possible. Make sure to be fair with the consequences.
  • Fair doesn’t mean equal. Set individual expectations for those students that need them.
  • Don’t let certain students get away unacceptable behaviors.
  1. Reward students for good behavior and grades. Students should always be recognized for exhibiting model behavior and receiving excellent grades.
  • Give free time on Fridays to well-behaved students.
  • Provide points for participation.
  • Let students choose small trinkets like erasers, pencils, notepads, games, stickers, books, etc.