What’s stopping you?

Motivation/Success- what’s stopping you?

I watched this video and I thought “It really is that easy.” Commitment. To myself. So if it’s that easy, why is this so hard, for so many people (myself included)? I mean, there’s nobody better to invest in than myself, is there? Nobody is going to try harder for me than me, right? So why do we find it so hard to do? Is it like the video says- we are caught up in negativity? Or sleep our time away? Why is that? Because it’s easy? Because we stopped believing in ourselves?

Bruce Cockburn sang “nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight” (Lovers in a Dangerous Time, 1983). I think having a happy life that Im proud of is worth fighting for. We need to take the time on ourselves, for ourselves. Figure out what we want. What motivates us. We need to commit to it and we need to work for it. Who knows- maybe the things that motivate you will inspire change in others and what could be greater than inspiring change? As a facilitator, that’s what I strive for.

Let go of negativity. Let go of what other people have told you are capable of (or not capable of). It’s your future. Set your own goals. Figure out what you want, and what has stopped you from getting there and then let that go.Overcome those obstacles for yourself.

Be passionate about what you do because you are investing in yourself. Dream new dreams. Don’t let your passion, your commitment or your motivation falter. It’s going to be hard. But the right thing to do is, is usually not easy. If we cant do these things for ourselves, how can we expect our students to do it?

Keeping the excitement alive

During my readings in the “Student Engagement Techniques, a Handbook for College Faculty” , I came across a section that talks about keeping yourself engaged, as the teacher/facilitator (pages 74-76).

Im sure we can all recall a time in our lives when we have been in a meeting, or a class which was being lead by someone who was less than enthusiastic about the topic at hand? How did that impact you? Did it affect your motivation? Your engagement? Did you leave the class feeling fulfilled? Did you walk away thinking “wow, I cant wait to find out more!” or did you walk away thinking “OMG, that was painful, I’m so glad it’s over”. So let me ask you…What do you want your students to walk away thinking?

I think this is something that we, as teachers, need to be reminded of from time to time. It’s so easy to get caught up in a routine or focus on what isn’t going well and forget what brought you to this particular place in your life. You’ve got to love teaching! You’ve got to feel something about your subjects/lessons! If (and when) you do- that excitement, that passion is shared with your students.

So how do we do that? I found this article that has some great suggestions: 12 Tips for Keeping Teacher Engaged. I think the one that spoke to me the most was “Provision of leadership opportunities inspires intention”. After all, isn’t that how I found myself taking the PIDP course to begin with? Isn’t that why we are all reading this entry right now? We are looking to increase our knowledge, learn something new to bring back to the classroom. We are actively trying to keep those neurons fired up and trying to find ways to bring it all back to our students?

I am fortunate enough to work in an environment where leadership and education opportunities are brought forward to those who are interested. I think this creates an environment which fosters growth and excitement. It allows me to grow as an individual while helping the organization grow within my area of expertise- and Im happy and excited to do it! I want to show off my new skills/knowledge!

So people- if you are feeling less than enthused about your lessons, figure out why. And then identify some new ways to improve those lessons- things that you may need to learn before you can implement. You will feel so much more enthusiastic about your lessons if you do some learning along the way!

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References:

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https://www.peopleadmin.com

Community

I realize that this video promotes itself as a “self-motivation” but I quite enjoyed the lesson on community. We need to build a sense of community within our classrooms. We need to be there for our students and we need to remember that they are beginners. Slow down. Get back to the basics. And don’t be afraid to learn from your students. There is opportunity all around you, if you are open to it.

The Psychology of self-motivation- Ted Talk

Getting to know your Audience?

I want to take a moment to talk about our “audience” as teachers (or facilitators). I feel like we often jump right into discussions about the curriculum or getting people motivated and engaged, but rarely do we stop and ask “who” we are asking these questions of.

The easy answer is the students. Yeah, yeah, we know that- but what do we need to know about the students to help us with our lessons? How can we build lessons around people we don’t know? How can I get people motivated if I don’t know what they find motivating? How can I possibly do this for each and every class I teach?

First things first- the lesson plan. This is likely put together ahead of time, and incorporates the desired outcomes provided to us by the board of education, the government or our employers. Sure, we can jiggle it around and add our own flair to it, but the point is, it likely doesn’t change a whole lot from class to class. My question to you is: Do you know going in to the class that the students are all at “the same level”? What if you are not sure? My advice to you- have a plan! Have a support system worked out (in your head) ahead of time. This might include pairing a struggling student up with a student who is doing well. Or maybe it includes extra reading on the side. Are there other classes that could be taken instead of this course that might be more suited to the student’s knowledge level?  The important thing to gauge here is how your students are receiving the lessons. Are they keeping up? When you complete a post assessment, are you satisfied with the results?  Knowing the knowledge level of our students ahead of time can be very helpful, but is not always available, so be ready for anything.

Next- how can I motivate people? In the Student Engagement Techniques Textbook, it states “students motivations are influenced by what they think is important and by what they believe they can accomplish”. (Barkley, 2010)  When I read this I think- I need to spend a little time getting to know people! In my environment, that is not difficult. I teach in a work environment and there are usually only 3-4 students in a “classroom setting” at a time. I spend time asking students about themselves, how they found themselves in my class and what they are hoping to gain from being there. I spend time talking about the mission and values of our company and asking questions about how students could possibly relate to them. I can tell you- this helps. Yes, it takes time and we don’t always have a whole lot of it on our hands, but when you can help the students to see right off the bat why this course/lesson is important to them they want to be there. And that makes a huge difference for the rest of the time you will spend together. They want to learn. If they fall off the track a little and struggle, bring it back to basics- Why are we all here?

And finally- how can I possibly do this for each and every class? As far as lesson planning goes, I go into each class with a plan. Once I get a chance to assess my students, get to know them a little and gauge the level of knowledge they came in with- I am ready to evaluate whether or not my lessons plans are “set up” the way I need them to be for that particular group of students. Every class is different, and as teachers we need to be ready to modify our plans to meet our students’ needs. We need to take the time to get to know our students and help them become successful- because ultimately, it’s all up to them.

Photo credit: https://www.teaching.philosophyquotes.com

the-secret-in-education-lies-in-respecting-the-student

Why the blog?

With any new adventure, there is new territory to explore. For me, this round includes capturing my thoughts in an online forum- the BLOG!

Most of us likely read blogs on a daily basis, but (for me, at least) have never really considered what goes into creating one. PIDP  has challenged in me in many ways, and this time around I am looking forward to creating a space which encourages people to write about their own thoughts, or ideas regarding an ongoing and (of course) happy learning journey!

You dont have to agree with my thoughts, or with the thoughts of others but please be open and be respectful to the possibility of new things coming your way.

Let’s get started…Again

It’s funny you know….I started a blog last week (first time ever) and I posted about how I am continually learning and progressing through life. Pushing 40 and basically starting over, and how it doesn’t really bother me, because along the way I am always learning.

When I went back to that blog today I realized that I messed up on a few things, and I wasn’t happy with it overall- so here I go again! Ha! BUT as long as the learning doesn’t stop, whats the big deal?

I think that is a question that many people could stop and ask themselves. How many of us have heard people say “I’m too old to go back to school” or “I’m too old to try that now”? I grew up hearing those things,and lucky for me I never believed any of it! We only have one life, after all. Why should we ever feel like we are too old to stop learning and growing and discovering? Isn’t that what life is all about? Maybe it’s because we didn’t all enjoy school the first time around…Let me tell you, once you are beyond the awkward teenage years and you figure out who you are and what makes you tick- you really make the learning experience yours! You take the courses you  to take, you enroll for classes you always thought would be interesting and you love life a little bit more with each one of them! Happy learning, is the best learning. At least that’s how I feel 🙂

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