Motivating Middle School Students

Chances are, at some point in your career, you have found yourself wondering “How do I motivate my students?” or “Is it even possible to motivate middle school students?!”


Middle Schoolers have this reputation of being finicky, overly sensitive, and not interested in anything adults have to say…which can make them VERY difficult to motivateWhile on some days that might be true, most middle school teachers know that there is so much more to our students than that. 

The key to figuring out what motivates middle school students is to get to know them.

Middle school is this intense time of change and growth, and it’s a time when students are desperately trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in. They want to be seen and recognized as individuals, not just as another face in the crowd.

We have a unique opportunity to build relationships with our students, to help them feel valued and supported, and to create a positive learning environment.

Here are some tips on how to build strong relationships with students.


Image shows a female, middle school student, who looks incredibly bored and unmotivated. Maybe her teacher is covering the syllabus on the first day of school!?
All middle school teachers have seen this look on a student's face before!

Strategies for motivating middle school students


  • Set achievable goals: For some students, setting achievable goals can be a great motivator. Goals should be specific, measurable, and attainable, and can range from improving a grade in a particular subject to behavior changes, and even achieving a personal goal outside of school.


  • Celebrate successes: Celebrating successes is an excellent way to reinforce positive behavior and keep students motivated. This can be anything from verbal recognition to rewards, such as free time or other incentives.


  • Make learning fun: Students learn better when they are engaged and having fun. Incorporate games, hands-on activities, and group projects into the curriculum to make learning more interactive.



motivating middle school students with reward coupons

Offering rewards is a really effective way to motivate middle school students. Reward coupons can be a great addition to your classroom management plan, reinforcing desired behaviors, or used as extra special rewards. Grab a copy of these printable reward coupons today!



What makes reward coupons so fantastic is that there are so many different incentives that can meet the diverse interests of your students. Plus, you can choose low or no-cost rewards to help cut down on the amount of money you need to spend on your classroom! Or, really, just allow you to spend it on other things because let’s be real, you’ll probably need more pencils or tissues soon!


 Here are just a few examples –



  1. Choose your seat for the day
  2. Free assignment pass
  3. Work in the hallway
  4. Listen to music while you work
  5. Wear a hat in class
  6. Bring a snack and/or drink to class
  7. Chew gum in class
  8. Free time
  9. Work with a friend
  10. Assignment extension

the proof!

Don’t just take our word for it! Check out what these awesome teachers had to say about our reward coupons:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Kelly B. says, “I use these in my weekly class store for students to purchase with the tickets they earn for arriving on time, responding to questions, positive behaviors. Some of these are big hits!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Kenyetta M. says, “My students enjoy these rewards so much. I have spoken with other teachers my student’s go to and they have agreed to also allow them to use them in their classroom. The +5 on any assignment is the big hit of them all!!!”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Erin M.. says, “These were perfect and relevant rewards. They were so easy to print and have ready to go!”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Cindy A. says, “These rewards are so cute! Students love them, and there is a decent variety so it’s almost guaranteed that each student will be motivated to earn at least one of them.

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