Motivation and dreams

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Lack of motivation stymies many of my best efforts. I can make the lesson fun. I can integrate critical thinking into my content. I can leap through all the flaming hoops that administration throws at me. In the end, though, a percentage of my kids remain mostly outside of my influence. A review of their academic histories show this lack of involvement has been the pattern for years. Some kids fall off the edge, doing an academic nosedive after years of satisfactory efforts, but others have been clinging to the edge of satisfactory forever.

Eduhonesty: I’d like to offer a piece of action research to any educators looking for a challenge: As I’ve talked to my classes about their plans for the future, I’ve noticed an association that should be investigated. My motivated students tend to have dreams for their futures. Those dreams may be unrealistic and grandiose. If we stacked all the aspiring future NBA players end to end, they might reach from Chicago to Cleveland for example. But dreams provide leverage for teachers and possibilities for students. Failed NBA players may still receive college scholarships. Failed veterinarians may maintain grades that offer multiple healthcare career options. Dreams can get children to finish high school.

I have a number of children without dreams, though. They aren’t working. They aren’t trying. Parental pressure may push them through high school graduation, but their own efforts won’t get them anywhere. I wonder, where are the dreams? Why aren’t there dreams? Were there ever dreams? Does this lack of aspiration sap intrinsic motivation?

I intend to pick up this thread in the next day or two.