Graphic
|

Five Ways You May Be Killing Student Motivation

by Chase Mielke

“What are your thoughts on student motivation?” my principal recently asked. Knowing that I have an interest in motivation, as well as a love of working with at-risk students, he wanted to know my thoughts on why our achievement gap wasn’t narrowing.

As a teacher, I of course had many thoughts. But, the many thoughts I have on student motivation are just that: my thoughts. And, ultimately, the thoughts that matter most are the students’. So, rather than dive into a discourse of which I was not the best source, I asked my principal a simple question: Why don’t we ask the students?

So, we did.

We sat down with my group of at-risk sophomores – a large majority of whom were in our bottom 30% academically. The stage was set for these students to be completely open and honest; nothing they shared would have a negative influence on their experience in school. They were given a few days to think about factors that affect their motivation in school.

What we had intended to be a quick conversation sparked a deep discussion consuming the whole 70 minute period. Out of the whole conversation, many themes arose –

To read the rest of this article, you need to be a subscriber and TO PURCHASE A NEW SUBSCRIPTION, select the subscription you want from the drop down menu below, pay and read! 

To RENEW/EXTEND an existing subscription, please  then visit the MY SUBSCRIPTION link found at the top of the page. Do not use this form.  

Authorize.Net
Authorize.Net processes AMEX, Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit card payments made online securely and safely. 
Paypal Standard
You do NOT need a PayPal account to use this payment method. PayPal allows credit card payments to be processed safely and securely. PayPal operates with credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts and PayPal accounts to make safe purchases online, without disclosing your credit card number or financial information. 

 Subscribe to our newsletter

Short URL: http://www.adjunctnation.com/?p=6294

3 Comments for “Five Ways You May Be Killing Student Motivation”

  1. (1)”They wanted chances to turn things in late – even with penalties”. …It’s a strategy that I use and it works well. Sometimes students think adults are out to get them. With a small penalty, punctuality is still encouraged but not above everything else, and students appreciate that.

    (2) “They want relevance now as well as in the future.” Good teaching has always sought a balance between the two. But it’s no guarantee to get motivation to rise from the ashes. Basically what is most relevant to most teenagers is relationships, fear of not being accepted, especially by members of the desired sex, and the weapons of mass-media aimed at them. That’s why our subjects seem dull to them, even if we’re doing our best.

  2. I have done a poor job of explaining often, but I believe that some of my illustrations by drama, construction, mnemonic or memory device, or some other catchy idea has sometimes really helped or even done the trick! It takes work for me to explain correctly. It is worth the study!:):):)

  3. Re: #3 – Being able to explain effectively really is a gift. In my experience, there are a lot of very knowledgeable people that forgot what it was like to not know what they know, and so they have a hard time bridging that frame-of-reference gap with a student.

    I think becoming a better explainer starts with understanding that the frame-of-reference gap exists and thinking to yourself, “What understanding am I assuming with this explanation? How do I drill down further and help my student understand an even more foundational concept?”

    #5: “They expect us to act like adults but treat us like children.” That’s a really widespread problem in how we treat teens in general, but that’s a broader rant for another day. What this means as a teacher is that you may have a bit of an uphill battle if the students begin with negative expectations (although hopefully not). But I do know from experience training people in a professional setting that if you treat people like they have valid questions and concerns they will absolutely flourish and work really hard for you.

    Really great thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Keep in Touch With AdjunctNation

Graphic Graphic Graphic

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Archives

Graphic
Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

From the Archive

  • EdTech: Engaging Students, Increasing Productivity, and Impacting Success

    by Greg Rivera, Senior Digital Educator We can’t deny that technology is here to stay. However, that is definitely not a bad thing! In fact, using educational technology can help engage students, improve retention, and help students succeed. There are several educational technologies, including free or almost-free ones, that can help you with these endeavors. Think […]

  • The Courage to Teach

    Reviewed by Janice Albert “The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life” by Parker J. Palmer; San Francisco, Jossey-Bass 1998. $22.00 The Courage to Teach: A Guide for Reflection and Renewal” by Rachel Livsey in collaboration with Parker J. Palmer; San Francisco, Jossey-Bass 1999. $8.00 A HISTORY INSTRUCTOR at a nearby college […]

  • A Round-up of the Best Teaching Abroad Blogs

      by Greg Beatty Maybe you’re tired of the job prospects here at home. Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel. Shoot, maybe you’re just restless. You’re scanning the Chronicle and a job opening catches your eye. Where exactly is Tashkent? What would it be like to teach in Turkey—and are the challenges greater than teaching […]

  • The Newest and Best Search Engine Tools

    by Evelyn Beck YOU MAY NEVER have met Archie, but perhaps you’ve spent some time with Gopher or Jeeves. Looking back through search engine history is a bit like browsing through a little black book. It was 1990 when Archie, the first search engine, premiered. Then came Gopher and then many more, including Excite, Yahoo, […]

  • Paychecks Come Late (Again) & PTers Launch Public Food Drive In Response

    Food drives have become increasingly common in the aftermath of the Great Recession. But the drive launched at Kalamazoo Valley Community College January 11th is a little different: People are bringing in food and gift cards, not to help out strangers in need, but their coworkers. “The full-time faculty have been wonderful. They were the […]

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Recently Commented

  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...
  • Freddi-Jo Bruschke: An excellent description of this editorial.