Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finding Your Motivation

I have heard time and time again how insightful your class has been this summer. EDM310 is growing and producing faster and more boldly than ever before. Some of you are using the tools y'all have learned about in your professional lives, some of you are already teaching these tools to schools and teachers out of the state, some of you are researching tools that we have yet to explore as a class, and others of you are making masterpiece productions of your assignments. Congratulations to you all. It is amazing to see the team work effort between y'all as a class.

Now I ask you all this: Why? Why are you so motivated? Why are you excelling so profoundly? Why is it harder for others of you to keep up? What have you noticed about the habits of classmates that are struggling? What have you noticed about the strategies of classroom bar-setters?

These are a few questions that fall under the umbrella of a little research I am doing on educational motivation. Any answers or comments y'all have will go a LONG way in helping me draw some meaningful conclusions.

Here's a little quote by Sir Ken Robinson that was published to CNN that got me thinking...

"Facilitating learning is like gardening. You cannot make a plant grow. It grows itself. What gardeners know is that there are certain conditions under which that will happen, and if the conditions aren't right-- nothing will grow. If the conditions are good everything grows. Great teachers know that. Their job is to create the conditions under which people will grow. Those conditions include: understanding the nature of talent and motivation, the need to feed people's spirits and energies." Sir Ken Robinson


  1. Man you ask some difficult questions. I have going to have to think on this and get back to you.

  2. Well you write very nicely. I am mostly surprised that you don't already know the answers, seeing as how you appear to fit the description of a "motivated student." I disagree with Martha, I don't think these questions are difficult at all. I will answer these questions from the perspective of me.
    1. Why am I so motivated? Well see you don't know this and you wouldn't know just by looking at me or knowing me, but I haven't always been motivated. I spent a large portion of my life (roughly 8 years) not making the best choices. One day I looked up from the mess I had made of my life and said, "oh - I need to do something different." So now that's what I do. I do the best I can everyday. I have goals. And the biggest difference is when I lay my head down each night, I am proud of me and I do WHAT EVER it takes to maintain that. I tried the other path and it was not so fulfilling.
    2. Why are you excelling so profoundly?
    I like the way it feels to do well. That seems too simple, but it is the truth.
    3. Why is it harder for others to keep up?
    It is NOT harder, they just have different priorities. I guarantee if they are twilight fans (something I still don't understand) they have read all the books and watched all the movies and probably stood in line for hours to get tickets. We call that dedication. If they are football fans, I bet they know the names of all the teams and players and their stats, make plans to go to games, and set aside time to watch the games on television. We call that team pride and support. Well I am a dedicated mother with pride and support for my family. My education, personal character, and life achievements reflect my dedication, pride, and support for them. It is just a matter of what people think is important.
    4. What have I noticed about the habits of classmates that are struggling?
    Well most of them are not in class and they don't do their homework. The two are directly correlated with one another.
    5. What have you noticed about the strategies of classroom bar-setters?
    Well including myself, I think they actually enjoy learning. They are not satisfied with just being and using up oxygen on the planet. They want to make a difference and they probably are bar-setters in all areas of their lives.
    Sir Ken Robinson's quote left one thing out though. Even when the conditions are right and every opportunity is available, some seeds are just bad. I know, I used to be one. Great post Anthony! Glad to have been a part of the EDM garden.

  3. Thanks for your response Alana! It is very insightful and one day after Edm is over, I can't wait to hear the surely hilarious stories that accompany your slacker days, haha. You did say something that got me thinking... "some seeds are just bad." I think that this is a small part of why I am researching this topic-- so it leads me to ask, what do you plan to do for/about your bad seeds?

    Also( can't wait to hear what you have to say Martha!

  4. This has absolutely nothing to do with this post. I have thought this for a while now but after seeing Gina's interview with you I thought it was finally time to tell you. You are the smartest, most insightful person of your age that I have ever met. I would be thrilled for my kids to have you for a teacher and I don't say that lightly.