Like a seasoned veteran infielder preparing for the roar of the crowd at Yankee Stadium, I am on the doorstep of another school year. As I embark on my sixth year of teaching I find myself more excited than ever. This will be the first school year where I will also be juggling the responsibility of being a father. My family is my support system and without them I would not be where I am today.
I am also continuing with my graduate studies. Including this semester’s class I have four more classes to take to complete my program in Curriculum Design & Instruction at Caldwell College. Later this fall I will be presenting a workshop at their first annual technology conference. I am looking forward to that because I am passionate about technology and have a an interest in providing professional development. I may even teach at the college level one day!
This school year my focus is motivation.
1. the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way: I don’t understand what her motivation was for quitting her job. Synonyms: motive,inspiration, inducement, cause, impetus.2. the state or condition of being motivated: We know that these students have strong motivation to learn.3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive: Clearly,the company’s long-term motivation is profit.
Motivation is something that many teachers and professionals talk about but have difficulty with. For years I have believed that I have been a motivator of students. After reflecting I believe have not been as consistent as I would have liked.
I plan to employ the following motivation techniques:
- Provide a supportive environment and establish a trusting bond.”Motivation is the feeling nurtured primarily by the teacher in the learning situation” (Ellis, 1994). Greet your students, interact with them, indicate a personal concern about them as individuals.
- Cater levels of activity to students’ level – try and make sure that the learning tasks pose a reasonable challenge to the students – neither too difficult nor too easy.
- Help students recognize links between effort outcome – learning is a long-term plan of effort and investment.
- Break down learning steps into digestible pieces.
- Minimize student’s performance anxiety during learning activities.
What will you be working on this year? How do you motivate? I welcome your comments and feedback.