Before I conclude that someone is "unmotivated", I'm more likely to conclude that I've failed to motivate them. Everyone is motivated by something or someone. The skill comes in finding what is the source of motivation for a person and developing techniques for incorporating that source of motivation into what you're working on or trying to get the person to do. It takes a little more time, but it's worth the benefits . . . for the person and for me!
Hi L Trujillo,
I agree with you on using Gardner's multiple intelligences in project based learning to reach the students at their various levels. This all goes along with the using the students learning styles and interests to help motivate the students by making learning interesting and exciting for them. As you had said, the students write more or read more when it is about something they care about or like. This makes them take some responsibility for their learning.
It is the ever changing question we need to rethink with every new student. Getting to know the student as a unique personality is a good start. It includes an analysis of their mix of learning style, personality type, maturity, and interests and finding how you can best engage them for success. Oh yeah, and they have to feel that they can trust you.
I totally agree. Nearly every student has some interest in life. Getting to know students one on one is the key to any learning environment. Otherwise you are just lecturing to an empty room of empty minds. As teachers our job is to reach out over and over again, no matter how many times it takes.
frankly speaking,what happens to a man who is not allowed to go outside and lectured continuously ,he goes inside his own shell,he creates his own reality and becomes out of tune with his emotional vibration,give space and give time,do not teach too much,give them time to digest what they learn,inculcate the creative mind and not the competitive mind,and that is what we are ding,which is sadly the decline of our beautiful and precious children.Give them good environment,give them platform to come out ,and our duty is not to react,but understand them,do not burden them with loads of teachings,so many subjects and so little mind and it is like you are putting too many things in a small box ,imagine what will happen to the box,if children have become demotivated then it is the responsibility of the school to take care that such things donot happen,follow the law:ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL.
In all my 17 years of teaching middle school, that is the one frustration I have yet to figure out. It is so true that each kid "ticks" differently. Understanding what makes them "tick" and how to keep it "ticking" is the the challenge. Our school started a class for 8th graders called "Academic Achievement". Enrollment for the class is 1st initiated by teacher recommendation. Then a committee of teachers, counselors, principals, split up the names and complete a rather rigorous "At-Risk Inventory" using CA 60's and other confidential info. for each student. We as a team then meet to discuss the overal at-risk scores and choose the 22 or so students with the most need. The parents are then contacted and it is explained that the student is recommended for this class. It replaces one of their electives.
The class is taught by a teacher with a passion for these at-risk kids. He sees them daily and there is a counselor that also comes in frequently. He works on organization skills, testing skills, problem-solving skills, life lessons, tutoring, study hall during research. We have special ed teachers that will go in and help. They read one of the Covey books geared for teens and success. He does a partner program with the Autistic classroom. It is amazing. Really, what he is...a reliable, consistent, mentor/coach/teacher/parent that keeps up with each of his students grades for each class. He works with their teachers and utilizes a lot of Reality Therapy. It really has been helpful.
I'm not a teacher but just as a parent seems that at the high school level the ONLY way to motivate those who don't already GET that ultimately school will = a pay check (and its size) is to guide them to realize that!
School and how you participate fills your brain which is how you make your future.
One teacher figured out this gap in the system about kids not being helped to see the bigger picture.
Her program is amazing and I am certain kept MY son who could not have been less motivated
from dropping out : www.getreallearning.com
It a workbook project that helps them plan their lives and parents can even participate.
Very cool... individualized because kids go their own route. I know if I hadn't
found this, he would have dropped out.
I did it with him on weekend, etc. but some schools are using it in classes.
Just one voice's thoughts.
I think that the key to getting kids motivated is to make learning both fun and, if possible, within the framework of their current lives. If you can make what your teaching relevant than it's going to seep in whether or not the kids acknowledge it at the moment.
I just created a website called Reader Roundtable (www.readerroundtable.com). It is a place where anyone can come and talk about the content of books. One of the biggest responses that I've gotten is from teachers who have found my site. They have reported to me that it is that it's great to have your class log on and discuss books, or other homework because you can go to the "inbox" and create a private chat so only you and your students can see the discussion. It is fun for the students to be online doing homework, and great for them to see other people talking about books when they log in to see that it can be lasting fun and community. In addition most teachers assign some kind of accountability, like you have to post your own thoughts and respond to 2 others twice a week or something like that. Due to this response from teachers, I have added a Facebook app directly into the forums (http://apps.facebook.com/readerroundtable/?ref=bookmarks), so that you can chat with your class on the Reader Roundtable Forums or within Facebook which adds to the "coolness" of having a class discussion this way.
I love this idea. I will include this as another method to promote/maintain technology growth and support. I find that many teachers just need encouragement or even "permission" to turn to student assistance for technology. Why not they have students fill many other class management roles (line leader, runner, etc.)?
Teachers who "rely" on their students' tech abilities to help with classroom tech needs have experienced a positive learning process for both teachers and students. Some teachers have organized school tech helpers that other teachers can call on to come and assist them during independent class times. As district technology integration support, I have worked with other teachers who organized after school student groups to learn tech skills that they then use to help manage day-to-day classroom tech duties (turning on the student computers, setting up data projector or document camera station, maintaining class digital cameras, etc). Other teachers select a few tech-savvy students to assist with special projects, creating audio recordings, for example. Again, I also help train the students for the special tasks.
Teachers are willing to try many new projects knowing that they have support for managing them. The organization and steps needed to accomplish technology oriented projects can be confusing and overwhelming. When there is even a minimal network of people resources that can be called upon, teachers will be more confident to include these projects.
I always enjoy reading these, there are always products and promotions which elicit a way to win. It's difficult to say what motivates some children other than survival and trying to find food because mom and/or/maybe no dad are drug addicts, alcoholics, abusive, spend all their money and time gambling, or who knows what else. So what could interest them that would be the least bit motivating?
Some children are intrinsicly motivated, some extrinsicly. Any way you look at it, it is an extremely difficult to motivate all children in every class, every time. I've found ways to get them interested and hook them. I will say PBL is probably a more successful way of engaging and motivating children. Does it work for all of them, not really. Technology is great because it peaks some of their interest, but not all. I think one of the most important aspects of student motivation is teacher motivation. When the teacher is motivated and excited, the students often respond positively. Is it the sure fire definitive answer, not at all.
I agree with an earlier post that the single most killer of motivation in schools was the focus on standardized testing and scores. We don't encourage creativity and exploration anymore. We encourage bubbling and passing a test. So, show some cool movies and videos, let them see what can really be done in your subject or in the world with your subject. Work with other teachers to create a warm and meaningful experience when the enter the building. Build them up! Student achievement and success are the most important aspect of our role! Let them know you care, they matter, and the future lies on their shoulders!
I think another question we could ask in this thread is "How do I motivate children to be interested in academics when a 16 year old is signing a multi-million dollar contract to play sports?"