Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

What happened to motivation?

We are about 9 weeks into the 2013-2014 school year. I have experienced a wide range of emotions this year. Most of the emotions are related to my adjustment as a new teacher. However, I am consistently flabbergasted by the lack of motivation that the students exude. This is a generalization. In no means, does this statement or observation apply to all of the students. There just seems to be a lack of motivation in a lot of the kids. Maybe the emotion is apathy...I don't know. They seem content to do the bare minimum, while expecting the maximum return. They are quick to tell me that I am "doing too much". When I gave them a quiz on medical abbreviations, more than half failed. Initially, I internalized it that I had failed them as a teacher. So, I went back and retaught the lesson. We did multiple examples together and they practiced independently. We did it so much, that they began to whine and complain that they knew this already and were tired of reviewing the 20 abbreviations. So, I gave them the opportunity to take the quiz again. I didn't change ANYTHING!!! Same quiz, same questions, same answers. The results were overwhelmingly the same!!!!!!! Some of the excuses I heard were "But Ms. Jones, I had other stuff to do.", "I wanted to study, but I had math homework last night".  So, this time, I knew that it was them and not me.

Then came test time. I formulated a study guide from the test questions. I gave them the study guide about a week and a half before the test. They completed it independently first. Then I spent an entire class period reviewing them and answering all of the questions on the study guide with them. They had an opportunity to ask me any questions on the material....guess what?! "We don't have any questions". Can you guess what happened when test day came? I heard "What test, Ms. Jones?", "You didn't give us a study guide!"  Did I mention that I used to send text reminders to their precious little cell phones about the test?!?!? I am grading the test this weekend and I am flabbergasted again at the number of F's. I just don't get it. Where is the motivation to do well? Where is the motivation to have passing grades? Where is the motivation to learn? As a teacher, I feel like I can only do so much external motivation. How do you inspire intrinsic motivation in your students?


Mark said...

Trust me it's nothing new. Sometimes you can do everything known to teaching and it still won't help the students. Teaching and learning goes both ways, you do the teaching but the students have to do their part which is study the material.
Sometimes I give life lessons during class times because I believe that a lot of students don't get those life lessons at home. Over the course of my teaching career, they seem to work. The thing is when you give those life lessons, make it a serious time, just talk to them and don't make it seem like a "You all are lazy and you need to do better," type of talk. I actually found out a lot of my students simply don't know how to study because it was never taught to them. I had to teach them the basics of how to study for different classes and how to be good time managers. Try that and see if it works. I know the students will appreciate that lesson.

chris said...

As a teacher, I often feel this way. I have to constantly remind myself of where my students are developmentally. They are in the most ego-centric time in their lives. Their ability to reason and see consequences is definitely not developed. When I feel this way, I try to remind myself what my focus was at 14-18. It was not on school.