Sunday, April 05, 2009

Motivating the unmotivated

"If you want to build a ship, don't recruit the men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I have just finished one of the most fantastic books that I have ever read: The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child, by Richard Lavoie. As a new teacher whose foremost goal is to inspire students to be lifelong learners, this was really good stuff. My library book is full of turned-down pages (I know, I know...), and I'm dreading having to return the book when it is due. I WILL be purchasing my own copy soon, so that I can refer to it as I plan lesson plans, set behavior expectations, and prepare for parent-teacher conferences.

The book is often set in the context of children with learning disabilities, but is obviously appropriate for people of all learning abilities. I actually learned a lot about myself, and also found myself referring to the book's philosophies as Rob and I brainstormed ideas to encourage his employees.

The last section of the book is entitled "What Does Madison Avenue Know... That Maple Street Elementary Doesn't" and highlights how teachers (and parents) should learn from the marketing strategies of advertisers--both have a "product" to sell, whether it be a toy or a math concept. Oooooo, with my marketing and design background, I can certainly wrap my hands around that idea. It's actually very reminiscent of my own fledgling philosophy: "every day is an event to plan and host in the classroom."

1 comment:

  1. That last part is what I love most about teaching little kids---they absolutely buy into the whole thing with complete abandon!


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