Spotlight! This Author Offers Ways to Ignite a Love of Learning!

Feeling overwhelmed by classroom behavior issues and a lack of student engagement? You’re not alone. In this Q&A, Allen Mendler, author of the bestselling book Motivating Students Who Don’t Care: Proven Strategies to Engage All Learners, dives deep into the challenges educators face and offers practical solutions.

Allen discusses the inspiration behind this second edition. He then addresses specific roadblocks the book helps teachers overcome and the unique strategies, tools, and templates it provides. Whether you’re a seasoned educator or just starting out, use Allen Mendler’s wisdom and classroom experience to unlock the potential in every student and create a thriving classroom environment where everyone experiences success.

“Never has this resource been more pertinent than it is as students and educators transition back to into face-to-face instruction. In Motivating Students Who Don’t Care, Second Edition, Allen Mendler reminds us of the importance of the person within the personality. He does so by validating the human needs of belonging and relationships, paired with the beliefs that students are inherently capable. Packed with a plethora of practical and purposeful strategies capable of motivating even the most resistant learner, this book really meets the mark for keeping all students inspired in the classroom!”

— Tammy Heflebower, author and associate, Marzano Resources and Solution Tree Press, CEO !nspire Advisory & Consulting

Let’s dive in!

What inspired you to write the second edition of your best-selling book, Motivating Students Who Don’t Care?

Behavior in the classroom is a major source of stress for educators, with a lack of student motivation leading the way. Simultaneously, too many learners who begin their academic journeys bright-eyed, eager, and filled with enthusiasm lose interest and become disengaged along the way. The book provides daily practical strategies any educator can pair with any curriculum to initiate, sustain, and/or reawaken virtually any student’s desire to learn and behave.


What challenges will this book help educators overcome?

First and foremost is understanding and believing that what we do and how we do it can strongly influence student behavior. This holds true even though the vast majority of behavior problems are rooted in factors largely beyond our control such as inadequate parenting, expectations of entitlement, poverty and its many consequences, exposure to or use of alcohol and/or drugs, and social-emotional trauma. Getting and keeping students motivated requires the proper tools like creating a climate where everyone experiences a daily dose of success along with an attitude of patience, passion and persistence. The major challenge for most educators is learning how to stay personally connected and respond effectively without taking ‘button-pushing’ behavior personally. 


What are some strategies, tools, and templates you offer in the book?

Students are motivated when classrooms are structured to meet their needs for: 

  • Connection (Do I belong?) 
  • Competence (Will I be successful?) 
  • Control (Can I influence what goes on here?)
  • Fun (Is this an upbeat, pleasant place to be?) 

The strategies are guided by: 

  • Emphasizing effort (You hung in there and didn’t give up) 
  • Creating hope and confidence (You will taste success every day, especially if you prepare, practice, and persist) 
  • Valuing involvement and influence (Your thoughts and opinions will be heard and respected when expressed at the right time and place) 
  • Building relationships (I want to get to know you, including your interests, issues, likes and dislikes)
  • Sparking enthusiasm (I want you to enjoy being in my class)


In what way does this book stand out from the rest?

The book is short, to the point, and an easy read, making it perfect for busy educators. Unlike other motivation resources, it focuses on the three core obstacles specifically hindering students: fear of failure, need for control, and boredom. What truly sets it apart is its laser focus on addressing the lingering impacts of the pandemic on student motivation, offering specific strategies to navigate these newly emerged challenges. The book provides clear, step-by-step guidance with numerous suggestions and examples for immediate implementation in the classroom.


About the author

Allen N. Mendler is the author of Motivating Students Who Don’t Care. His other titles include Power Struggles: Successful Techniques for Educators, Discipline With Dignity for Challenging Youth, and MORE What Do I Do When . . . ?: Powerful Strategies to Promote Positive Behavior. For more from Allen about trauma-informed motivation and classroom management, check out our free webinar.


Solution Tree

Here's some awesome bio info about me! Short codes are not allowed, but perhaps we can work something else out.

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