In a split second, thoughts rushed through my head:
"Should I grab those trophies?"
"How could trophies be thrown away?
"Eh, what good are trophies? I'm looking at garbage here."
I craned my neck and saw the trophies were from 1999. They were relics from a former century. I guess all trophies end up in a dumpster eventually and when we think they're overly important, maybe we're clinging to the past — kind of like the guy at the bar who played high school football and still talks about it.
As my school is on the cusp of returning to in-person "simultaneous hybrid" with 20 percent of students agreeing to come back two days a week and teachers in-person four days a week, I am thinking about motivation. Strangely, the trophies in the trash reaffirmed my motivation, and I feel ready for this "simultaneous hybrid," even though it's ridiculously flawed and silly.
To me, the biggest pitfall of motivation is overthinking. Nike, my generation's Mark Twain, says, "Just do it." I couldn't agree more. You're never going to be talented enough, find the absolute perfect time, have everything aligned to create or accomplish anything. Just do it. Start. That's the key.
I saw motivation for some students and teachers wane during this online only time. I heard some teachers talking as if it were normal to lose motivation and not a problem. While I must say what teachers have been asked to do is exceptionally difficult during a difficult time, I feel badly that some lost sight of their reason for being educators. I wonder if they ever had a meaningful reason in the first place.
I surmise that the teachers who lost, or are losing, motivation fall into one of two categories. No. 1 — They are perpetual excuse makers, swirl in negativity and assume that's what life is. I feel we should be sensitive to potential personal tragedies that they may have faced, but some may not have the agency to get out of their funk.
Category No. 2 has teachers who foolishly and mistakenly entered the profession for comfortability, tradition or to relive their high school days — like the guy at the bar who still talks about his high school football days. Presumably, those teachers' daily activities are an homage to yesteryear, and they just can't adapt to a new teaching format. I would imagine students dread going to these teachers' classes.
This article really gave me a different perspective when it comes to grades. I really don't know what I would do if grades were not accounted because that is what motivates me. It is also very interesting seeing how you, as a teacher, have very similar beliefs as I do. I thought students were the only one who believed in less homework, but it is really nice seeing a teacher that relates to the students.ReplyDelete
Thank you for checking out the blog! ... I am with you. I'm not so sure teachers put themselves in the shoes of their students, and when you think about it, the carrot of grades doesn't necessarily mean students are growing and getting educated. ... Let's make sure to save our souls with this system we're in!ReplyDelete
I really liked this blod post. I definiteley agree with you when you said that grades now are mostly about following the rules. Some of these rules don't even make sense. I think a lot of people's motivation has gone away since online school started because it's hard to keep going whith the same things you used to do, when we are in a global pandemic.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing. I continue to hope that we reevaluate "the same things you used to do" because I wonder if those things were really working.Delete