It is often said that everything is better with bacon. Now while I love bacon, is everything better with a slab of salty, crispy perfection? Apparently one of my dear students feels that way. Today as I was grading a recent math lab, I was treated to a really good belly laugh. To answer a question about what tools techniques could be used to solve an equation, someone got quite creative. Check it out for yourself…
Now, yes it is funny. At the same time, however, it’s a sad commentary on today’s students. Some of our students are amazing young people who are bright, energetic, and creative. Some work their fingers to the bone yet rarely see success because school has always been hard. The majority of our students are “good kids” with a huge lack of work ethic.
This semester I am trying all sorts of ways to engage and inspire my students. I’m a math teacher to 8th graders, teaching general Algebra to on-level students and Algebra 1 for high school credit to others. Last week I asked my students to start thinking of things that motivate and inspire them to do well regardless of the task at hand. I got some pretty blank stairs and you could hear the crickets.
This week I showed a short clip titled “I Choose C”. I hoped to get a few laughs (yep) and yet plant a seed of inspiration (hope so).
Today’s kids must understand that the world is not based on provided answer choices, nor is everything given to someone “just because”. Parents and teachers need to be talking with kids about their dreams, goals & planning, and HOW to get where they want to be in life. It is our responsibility as adults to be honest with our kids and model what setting goals and good work ethic looks like and feels like. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any of my students or my own kids for that matter to “just choose C”. I want to see them take risks, dream big, work hard, and develop the confidence to pick themselves up and try, try again if they fail at something. I always tell my kids at school and at home to take advantage of all their resource and support systems. I encourage them to make the most of their education so that they can choose what path they take rather than have their path chosen for them.
Goals × (Hard work + resilience) – (negativity & poor work ethic) = great success.
Not convinced? Take a look at this…
So regardless of whether you are an adult (with or without kids) or a teen, what motivates YOU? What motivates you when the task at hand is NOT glamorous, or exciting, or what you want to be doing? How do you get yourself psyched up to get things done? Once you have started, what keeps you going? How do you stay motivated? What is it that makes your give your best? What makes you go above and beyond to do a job well done and possibly above expectations?
I’d love to hear some great, positive ideas in the comments sections below. Remember — we all need a little inspiration at times and sometimes we need to inspire others. Stay motivated & do great!