How do you motivate all students to enjoy learning?
This question has been mulling in my mind for a while now. As I look around my classroom, I know that all the learners in it are different and they are all at different stages in their development. For some, primary school comes easy, they learned to read and write with ease and they are used to doing well. For others literacy and numeracy is a struggle and unfortunately some of them already find school hard. I know that personality makes a difference and I have blogged before about the animals I often find in the classroom. My classroom menagerie I called it then.
Yet what is the elusive quality that motivates some students to do as little as possible and some to work as hard as they possibly can? Because I just wish I could bottle it. Why are some interested and motivated by rewards such as stickers and house points? And others not? Why do some care deeply what I say about their work and others not?
More than that though, how can I their teacher draw out the ones who just do not seem to want to push themselves? The ones who do the essential tasks but no more? The ones who usually complete their homework but only the minimum? The ones who will answer questions when asked but never raise their hands?
I know I work hard to create trust and build relationships. I know I work hard to create a stimulating and differentiated program where choice and creativity are offered. Yet as I look around my classroom I know I am not reaching them all. Yes there are many who are learning and working as hard as they can, whether gifted, struggling or in-between. But there are also those elusive few, who just do just what is required no more, no less.
You see I was one of those few. I passed through school not caring about the learning. I realised very early on that if I did not want to work, then no-one could really make me. As a result I failed many high school exams and only really became a leaner as I reached adulthood. I know that I am more of a learner now than ever but I sometimes wish I had not given up so easily in school.
How do I ensure all my students become the lifelong learners they will need to be for the future?
I have so many questions? Do you have the answers?