Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Maintaining Motivation
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Author:  Heather Rulifson [ Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Maintaining Motivation

As it gets closer and closer to Thanksgiving, I'm losing both my focus and motivation. As a teacher, how do you maintain the class' attention the long days before break?

Author:  Carrie Barlowe [ Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:19 pm ]
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This is something I am have wondering about myself. The one thing I keep thinking of is keeping the students engaged. Meaning as they finish one task start them on another task. At my internship the teacher kept a stack of puzzles. If the students were taking a test or quiz she would give them one as they finished. When all the students were finished she was able to move on to the next task with the whole class.

Author:  Kristen P. Helton [ Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:22 pm ]
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I think that you should focus on the day as a regualr day of class. Not the day before a big break or even a short one. Keep yourself focused and hopefully it will help keep your students on task. But if students do get anxious, i agree with Carrie, keep them busy. After an activity give them a puzzle or something else to do.

Author:  Anna Gay [ Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:59 pm ]
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I also like Carrie's idea of keeping the students engaged and busy throughout the class period. If you have down time or odd transition time, you can lose the focus of the students. Also, I think the main thing is keeping your attitude focused, or appearing focused, because if you, as the teacher, appear unfocused, your students have not motivation to be focused. I know as a high school student I could tell when my teachers were sometimes unfocused. It then made us very unfocused and uncontrolled. I know it's hard, but it's important.

Author:  katie h lewis [ Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:46 pm ]
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I also agree that it is vital to keep students as busy as possible, especially around the excitement of holidays. It would be very easy for us as teachers to start slacking off around this time of year, and fill the classroom time with parties and holiday celebrations. Although, this is not a good example to set for our children. They need to understand the concept of working hard all year long. If we as teachers begin to slack off we are telling out students that it is okay to take time off around the holidays and not work to their full potential!

Author:  Clay Moore [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:54 am ]
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Keeping students engaged is definitely the way to go otherwise they are going to lose focus as well and more time will be spent gaining attention than learning new material. As holidays approach, finding ways to incorporate festive activities will increase the students desire to be engaged from my experiences. Students can feed off their excitement for the holidays and breaks by being engaged in the activity where learning is taking place without them even knowing it perhaps. This may help us as teachers as well to break away from the "normal" material we provide students with throughout the year.

Author:  Lloyd Walker [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:34 pm ]
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I have been struggling since before Thanksgiving. For me it's about making progress and being able to see it. I believe for high school students you must keep them busy. My question is how do you keep the high preforming students engaged without giving them work that may seem useless to them and at the same time keep the lower preforming students on task when they see other students doing other activities.

Author:  Paige Colbath [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:43 pm ]
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This is a subject that I struggle with a lot as I get closer and closer to graduation. I think that in any job, people strive to maintain the motivation to keep going. I think that when choosing a career path, you need to choose something that will keep you motivated and interested. You do not want to hate your job, because that would not be good for you or for the students. I think that a big part of keeping yourself motivated is keeping the students motivated. If you can think of something new and different to do every day with your students, it will make the world of difference in how you view your day at school. I think that like any job, teaching is what you make of it. If you go in with motivation and excitement, you will get a lot back in return (and so will your students).

Author:  Tracy Gardo [ Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:06 pm ]
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Like a lot of you have already said I think it’s important to keep the students busy and engaged in the work that has to be done. This sometimes gets hard to do however, when parties, programs, and other events start interrupting the day. We as teachers need to realize that busy work is not the answer, and also that our students may or may not celebrate the same holidays as we do, either for personally, religious or even financial reasons. I like Paige’s comment about keeping yourself motivated to help your students stay motivated; this could not be truer. If you are falling behind grading papers and not coming in prepared your students are going to want to do the same. Fight hard to not let this happen and realize that a break is coming, slowly, but it is coming.

Author:  Jessica Mundy [ Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:59 pm ]
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I agree that you have to keep your students engaged. You as the teacher though, also has to keep your focus. If you lose focus you know your students will. I think it is good to have fun, exciting craft time at the end of the day. This way, holiday stuff doesn't take over the vast majority of the day. I also think it would be a good idea to allow students time during the day to write and then share what they will be doing for the holidays.

Author:  CaseyDavis [ Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:26 pm ]
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I agree that it is very difficult to stay motivated the closer it gets to Holiday season. As teachers, it will be our job to be sure that our students do not drift away and start "eating the ham and turkey before it's on the table"! To do this though, it will also take much focus from the teacher as well. If the students can tell that the teacher has already lost his/her focus then they will follow the same path. For some students it may be as easy to keep their attention with simply being enthusiastic each and every day. Others though, it will be much harder, and yes, projects could really help them maintain focus and motivation,hopefully! It will be a hard job, but then again, what's not hard about being a teacher?

Author:  Heather Holland Crow [ Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:35 pm ]
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As an elementary teacher, I can think of several fun and exciting ways to maintain students' motivation. All they are thinking about is Santa Clause and presents, so why not incorporate those into the classroom? For social studies, I could teach a lesson about "Christmas/Holidays Around the World." Children love to learn about other children's lives, and it would be really neat to research their traditions and have a party mixing those traditions together. For math, why not turn all your math problems into Santa Clause, reindeer, and gingerbread cookie problems? How about building a gingerbread house if you are studying geometry? Music and physical education can be incorporated with "energizers." These are short movement activities which involve kinesthetic learning. For science, maybe you could come up with an experiment using candy canes. The possibilities are endless. Use the resources around you to make learning exciting and meaningful. This will capture the students' interest throughout the year.

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