George Lucas Educational Foundation

Title 1 School How to Motivate!!! PLEASE READ!!! It's more than just motivating.

Title 1 School How to Motivate!!! PLEASE READ!!! It's more than just motivating.

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Hi, My name is Linda and I've been teaching at a sixth grade campus for eleven years now. I make sure that I have procedures set up at the beginning of the year, but it seems like things just fall apart pretty fast. We now have a new curriculum that was bought from another district and I now found out that that district is looking for a new curriculum. My problem is lack of motivation, enthusiasm, interest, etc. I teach social studies and we use History Alive for some of our lessons. The students know that I have expectations of them. Some of them include sitting up in the chair, feet under the desk, coming into the classroom and take out their agenda and folder first and to quickly start writing what I have up on the screen for the objective or lesson for the day. We are getting ready to start our third six weeks and I still have a lot of students that come in and sit down with backpack still on their back and act like they have no idea of what to do. Some of the students say "Oh my God" when I remind them to get things done. Some students say "I just got here." I have been teaching for seventeen years now and most of those years have been in Title I schools. I talked with the principal who is a new principal this year. She has a doctorates degree. She told me that she has taught in Title 1 middle schools before. She told me that she used an apron with several pockets with many different slips of paper. Like: "Good job for participating" etc. She also told me the importance of making connections with the students. All of the teachers are complaining about the behavior of the students and it seems like it's worse than ever before. I want good behavior, but I'm just stuck. I know that the home lives of many of these students are not very good and I know that most of them have not seen their parents or parent working on goals. If there is a goal, many times it's just survival. I am feeling very emotional at this moment of writing. I really do want to be a good teacher in being able to making a change. I need the tools, but I don't know where to go. I don't think it's as simple as a class managemment class. I am begging for any suggestions. I care about these students a lot!!! I also have all of the information on Whole Brain Teaching or, as it's called now "Power Teaching" Please help me with the tools that I need. Thank you, Linda

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Martin Richards's picture
Martin Richards
I train educators to use a coaching approach in their teaching practice

There is a resource on this website

Here is a small part of what one of the teachers says.
Shana Oliver: If I were to give some advice to any teachers, staff, schools that are in our situation or similar, the one thing that I would tell them is, you have to be intentional about building relationships with your students, so that they will want to work and want to be successful. It feels good when you can walk around every classroom and kids are engaged. It's a great thing when students talk about teachers that they have good relationships with.

The next question is "How can you build a relationship with your students?"

Buttercup53's picture
Sixth grade social studies teacher in Texas

Thank you very much Martin. I am reading on the website you left for me and it is very interesting. I will get back with you when I read more of it.

Bob Sullo's picture
Bob Sullo
author, educational consultant

Hi Linda,
Like most teachers, you are stuck in part because you are wondering how to "motivate your students." In reality, you can't! Motivation comes from within and all attempts to "motivate" have a ceiling of compliance. The work I do focuses on inspiring student motivation and helping kids develop a passion for learning - not because they "get" something but because learning, working hard, and experiencing academic success feels good.

If you're interested in a whole new way to look at the issue of motivation, I hope you'll visit my website and blog. Here are the links:

I hope this helps.....

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