Summer is here! Understandably, most teachers aren’t all that interested in thinking about the classroom this time of year. However, I want to encourage all members of the Freshman Transition Network to begin thinking about something very specific for next year:
How will you inspire and motivate your students next year? How will you get them to learn about life beyond the content of your course? How will you teach them the attitudes and beliefs that they will need to succeed?
Most teachers I know say that they would love to be inspirational and motivational. I think that many of us, though, get caught up in the day-to-day and don’t find the time to actively incorporate motivation into our daily classroom activities. So here’s the idea – let’s try to come up with ideas together over the summer. Let’s use this forum to share things that can be done in class to inspire kids. Share movie clip recommendations and how to use them. Share quotes. Share motivational songs. Share lessons and activities.
I’m planning on regularly adding to this discussion, but I really hope I won’t be the only participant. Imagine if this summer every member of the network added even 1 idea to this discussion. What an amazing list of ideas we’d have! Then when the day-to-day is getting the best of you, you can simply come to this discussion, find an idea, and use it to motivate your students.
Great ideas, Andrea. Thanks for sharing. I remember when I started teaching and my freshman team told me that we would give student of the week certificates. I couldn't believe that high school students would like that - it sounded very elementary school-ish. Turns out they absolutely love the recognition. I would go so far as to say they crave it.
Those ideas sound great! Our freshman team also gives Student of the Week certificates and I have mine posted on the wall for the week with a picture of the student. They love it! Another thing I like to do is celebrate student success at the end of the grading period. I post stars on my inside door with the top students for each class, the class with the fewest missing assignments, and other accomplishments that have fallen in that six weeks. I keep adding stars each grading period until the door is full at the end of the year.