Turning motivation inside out

Thought it was about time to jot down some notes on a few things popping throughout my brain on the subject of education.

Motivation. Biggy. How is it that I can walk into one classroom, sit down, and say ‘write about the weather’ and the response is ‘Really? We love the weather! Oh wow, can we go outside to really see what it’s like out so we can add some realistic detail?’ and in another classroom I am racking (or is it wracking? In either case, lately my brain is raquĆ©e) my brain to get them to lift their chins off the desks to get writing? Reading, talking? I feel like a different teacher in each of those classes. Now that I reflect, I am more motivated to teach the first class because I know that the response will be positive. So maybe it isn’t so much about motivating them as it is about motivating myself. Because in that 2nd class I feel like THE. MOST. BORING. TEACHER. EVER. And so I probably am.

I’m thinking this is why I facebooked this quote from Michael. Here it is again for those of you who read it a few minutes ago in my status update:

“Here’s my plea to anyone of us arrogant enough to presume we have something to offer to the young. Try something new.

Try to master something you suck at but like to do anyway.

Now imagine trying to master something you suck at and don’t really care for.

Welcome to high school.”

There are some fundamental differences between the two classes:

  • 1st class is middle school, 2nd class is high school
  • 1st class happens to be all girls, 2nd class happens to be all boys.
  • They are both split grade classes but the first class has a good mix of both grades and the second has 1 student of one grade and the rest of another.
  • 1st class I see in the mornings, 2nd class at the end of the day.

So now that I have written all of this I’m going to try to stop worrying about how to motivate them and focus on motivating myself in that classroom. As we were talking about speech writing we looked at the different steps to writing a ‘good’ (don’t like that word, but this tired brain (after all of that wracking/racking) isn’t feeling too thesaurical) speech. And as I was droning on about how important it was to talk about something that interests you, that you know, that you are motivated about because otherwise the audience will sense that you don’t care about what you are telling them and will tune out I thought, Holy moly, I am NOT walking my talk right now. This needs to change.


By the way, I’m getting really annoyed with these spammy comments that pretend they are ME posting all over this site. I have changed my password a gajillion times and they STILL show up. So if you see a bunch of nonsense in the comments no, I did not write them, just haven’t gotten around to sending them to the depths of my trash yet.

Now that I got that out of my system…
Good night.

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