Posts Tagged: Motivation

Leadership Professional Learning
My Leadership Story
January 28, 2018
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My Leadership Story

Melissa Collins
@CollinsNBCT

I am Dr. Melissa Collins, and I am a nationally known teacher leader. I have received National Board Certification, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the Horace Mann Teacher Excellence Award, West Tennessee Teacher of the Year, and was recognized as a 2018 Global Teacher Prize Finalist to name a few. I have conducted leadership and instructional workshops to inspire teacher leaders. These accomplishments have helped me to strive as a leader in and outside the classroom.  Even though I am a successful educator, I overcame many obstacles to get where I am today.
Leadership
The Importance of School Leadership
January 21, 2018
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The Importance of School Leadership

Kenneth Chadwell
@kchadwell2014 

It has always been my belief that nothing can have a larger impact on a student's learning than a teacher. It seems that sometimes we forget about the impact of school leadership on the teacher. During most of my seventeen-year teaching career, I was under the belief that a good teacher can overcome a bad school administrator. That is no longer my belief. I think that the choice of who will lead a school has become the number one factor of how successful a school will be.
In the Classroom Leadership
For Such a Time as This
January 15, 2018
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For Such a Time as This

Mark Wittman
@wittmanmarks

As I have reflected over the past 23 years of my teaching career, the scripture “for such a time as this” seemed to be the theme of my involvement with education. It was “for such a time as this” that I made the move from western Kansas and settled in the inner city of Memphis, TN. I settled in Memphis with 9 years of teaching experience and a heart to serve the community. My willingness, skills, and passion allowed me to be instrumental in opening a Faith-Based school where I served as a kindergarten teacher. Helping open this school was just the first stepping-stone of my future in Memphis. It was the first of the many experiences that were revealing to me that I was in Memphis “for such a time as this.”
In the Classroom
My Educational Journey
January 10, 2018
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My Educational Journey

Candace Hines
@Mrs_C_Hines

Peeking through the blinds, I anxiously search for friends who weren't sleeping in on this hot summer day. My heart leaps at the thought of playing school! Many days my Barbie dolls and teddy bears became my students. School was my place of escape - a place that I thrived and looked forward to visiting each day. Looking back, I realize that my passion for education was fueled by a welcoming elementary school experience.
In the Classroom
Do-overs, Mulligans, and New Beginnings in 2018: Three Tips for Starting the New Year with a Fresh Perspective
January 7, 2018
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Do-overs, Mulligans, and New Beginnings in 2018: Three Tips for Starting the New Year with a Fresh Perspective

Amy Crawford
@AmyKCrawford

A new year, a new me. One of my favorite things about being a teacher is that each new year brings another opportunity to try again. Last year’s mistakes are in the past. There's just something about a fresh start. A chance to do it better this time. A clean slate. No mistakes. No stains. No failures. No regrets. No disappointments. No bad decisions. The possibilities are endless. I can be a better person in the new year. Eat less. Exercise more. Get up earlier. Read more. Be nicer. Be more patient. Give my all. I think that's why I love a new school year. THIS year I'll be more organized. THIS year I won't procrastinate. THIS year I'll be the teacher I’ve always wanted to be every day...but, in time, I forget. I fall. I fail. I slide down the mountain of expectation I've climbed in the hope of a better view.
In the Classroom Leadership
Synergy
December 10, 2017
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Synergy

Hayley Cloud
@hcloud_tn

The Wright brothers created the world’s first powered airplane because they shared the same curiosity and intellect. Michael Jordan completed 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association with the help of a skilled team. Helen Keller devoted much of her life to raising awareness for people with disabilities after overcoming challenges with the help of Annie Sullivan. Martin Luther King Jr. had a grand impact on the Civil-Rights Movement because of the many demonstrators that followed him in his efforts. For centuries, some of the most influential people in history have changed the world as a result of synergy. Synergy is when two or more people interact, cooperate, or collaborate to produce a greater result.  Synergy is vital to creating effective schools.
In the Classroom
Metcalf – My Story
December 2, 2017
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Metcalf – My Story

Lynnsey Metcalf
@SterchiMetcalf

Being an educator was never a question for me, I just didn’t truly know what being an educator was, until I became one!
In the Classroom
How Have I Survived 25 Years of Teaching?
October 29, 2017
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How Have I Survived 25 Years of Teaching?

Al Feldblum
@afeldblum

Istarted my teaching career with two strikes against me. One, I am a high school math teacher; the only school subject with a recognized, known phobia. Not only must I overcome “Math Phobia” with my students, but also I must listen to adults say, “I hated math in high school,” or “I was terrible at math.”
In the Classroom Leadership
Change the Language, Change the Mindset
December 19, 2016
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Change the Language, Change the Mindset

Marc Walls
@variableleader

This is the first in a four-part series dedicated to the effects of the words and phrases teachers and education officials use and how they shape the culture of schools and student learning.

Part 1: The Language of Deflation and Motivation

“Easy” is a venomous word in the classroom.  Nothing positive ever occurs from referring to a task or a problem in that capacity.  In seven years of teaching, I have made mistakes and coached students through their frustrations with their teachers, themselves, and even me.  I make a commitment with my students at the beginning of each school year.   The promise I make to them is that I will never refer to any assignment, assessment, or accomplishment as “easy.”  This is typically met with the same look of confusion I receive when I assign homework on Fridays.   However, when I start to explain myself, the students typically relate in some way from personal experience.  Referring to tasks as “easy” will only create recurring problems involving students’ motivation and deflation.

Motivation

There is an estimated 40 percent high school students who are chronically disengaged, according to a 2003 National Research Council report on motivation.  Motivating students, particularly struggling learners, is often one of the most challenging jobs for a teacher.  Once a student is hooked, a supreme accomplishment has taken place.  The quest to maintain that motivation begins at this point.  It can be very tempting for a teacher to want to encourage a student to attempt a problem by reassuring him or her that it can be accomplished.  

“I know you can do it; just try, it’s an easy problem.”

The teacher who makes this statement is very often making every effort to hold on to the progress that has been achieved.  The intentions can be positive, but the result is not.  Two possible outcomes will occur from this exchange and both are negative.  First, if the there was any desire to attempt the problem before, the student certainly is not going to waste his time with something you have determined to be simple.  But what if that student was engaged and worked diligently to arrive at the right answer?  What if the student applied those skills the teacher taught, was incredibly proud, and finally connected the dots between hard work and their achievement?  The teacher walks by and follows with the comment from above.  “See, it was easy.”  It was not easy for the student.  In fact, it was difficult, but the student solved the problem correctly.  The teacher has just destroyed the progress the student has made academically as well as ruined the self-esteem that was built from solving a complex problem.  Who cares that the student got it correct; it was easy.

Deflation

Motivating our students becomes increasingly difficult each year, but so does determining which students are actually motivated and engaged.  The very last thing any of us ever wants to do is deflate the efforts or progress that a hard working student is making.  Using the word “easy” loosely in the classroom is one way that can happen quickly.  Refer back to the previous scenario.  A student is sitting in a desk and might or might not be disengaged from the day’s assignment.  The teacher, looking to use level of difficulty as a bargaining tool to coax what appears to be an inactive learner, reassures the student in the hope of getting some work out of the student.

“Come on, this is an easy one.  Just give it a try.”

The only problem is, it is not easy, and the student is not inactive, he is struggling.  That phrase now permeates in the mind of the child as he continues to sit there, gazing pointlessly at a problem that may be too abstract or use vocabulary he does not recognize.  Learning is difficult enough.  Learning things that are supposed to be easy?  That is deflating to any person, adult or child.  The teacher, regardless of his or her best intentions, makes the student feel stupid.

Commit to your Kids

Students know every concept they learn is challenging, so there is value in every target that is achieved.  I never have to address the topic of relevancy with my classes because the relevance lies in learning something of great difficulty.  So reflect on the way you provide formative feedback to your students.  Have you diminished any accomplishments lately?  Changing the language by removing a small word makes such an impact in improving the daily learning climate of a classroom.

Marc Walls has taught science at Northeast High School for two years. He has served as a leader in STEM integration, facilitating in services during the summer and serving as a mentor to elementary and middle school teachers. Marc worked with a team of colleagues to rewrite the physical science curriculum used in his school system. He is a graduate of his district’s Leadership Development course and was accepted into the Aspiring Administrator’s Academy. Marc was selected for the Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute as an advocate for Autism awareness and active volunteer in his community. He is a graduate of Austin Peay State University and hold’s a Master of School Administration from Bethel University. He also serves as a Hope Street Group Tennessee Teacher Fellow, engaging his colleagues in providing classroom feedback to the Tennessee Department of Education on public education policy issues.