Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bob is having frustrating days teaching because about half of his class has no intrinsic motivation to learn and he feels unable to either inspire or control them into cooperation. I know he is inspiring to many individual kids who are interested. I hate it that so many in schools aren't excited by the learning itself. I was, at least usually - and when I wasn't excited by the subject matter making adults proud was sufficient motivation. Obviously this is not always true for kids - probably never was. Bob talks about teaching high school and feeling that the motivation issue might be easier there. I think I'd be more afraid in high school. I hope he finds a way to feel happier in his work.

I've been excited watching primary election coverage - not so much because of particular results but because I feel people thinking that their votes make a difference, caring, hoping, trying - wheels of democracy turning, and I like it.


Ruth said...

Bob really should talk to Chris--I don't think it's easier at high school (I think it may even be harder). Maybe that's just Reagan talking... but I think some of Bob's thoughts might be wishful thinking too. Little kids are generally much closer to their natural curiosity and also to their interdependance and desire to please. Bob should try visiting some classrooms before he makes any real decisions about what he could expect!

Chris said...

I'm going to echo Ruth's sentiments. On a good day, I have about half to two thirds actively engaged in an activity. And I routinely have at least a couple of students who go out of their way to be disruptive. Many of my students have little respect for themselves and other people. The degree of profanity is shocking...the routine mistreatment of textbooks, the trashing of the room on a semi-regular basis, the inability/unwillingness to feel shame. Now, it is a treat when people are interested-we can have some great individual moments! But those moments are few and far between sometimes.

Dixi said...

Empathy here. I remember those frustrating days/ years. My beginning years of teaching were really joy filled. I was sad at the end of the school years and would really miss the kids in the summer. Kids for the most part were motivated and respectful, it seemed. It amazes me now when I think about all of the fun things we were able to do along with the learning.

Things changed somewhere through the years. I could go on and on speculating why; but all of us saw this happen. The profession as I knew it when I first taught was different when I left.

Anyway, I empathize!