Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Students...start your engines

So all these years we have, basically, been doing it "wrong". After reading Drive by Dan Pink and discussing it at school with my teachers and friends, I realize the truth and importance of the "right" motivation. Of course, there are different situations and different personalities, but there are also different ways of approaching motivation. There are many ways to motivate and stir up creativity in people other than the typical “carrots and sticks” as Pink points out.
School has a certain monotonous nature. Teachers assign homework, depending on the class the assignment is usually around the same format year-round. They assign the homework, and basically your reward is your grade. It turns into work, and I may say it can be dreadful. Teachers want their students to love to learn, but it gets hard when your homework tends to suck all the joy out of learning. That is why I am so glad our school has opened up to the idea of 20 percent time. This year seniors have two days out of the week to work on a project. Anything we would like to do. This, honestly, gives me more motivation to go to school. I want to show everyone what I can do and I want to work hard on it.
In our classes, our teachers have opened up the floor and their lesson plans. We get to have some say in what we want to learn. This makes the class more interesting and exciting. It turns into fun; play. This book would have never been a book that I would have picked up on my own. It may have been directed more to the work/business setting but it works in the school setting as well. I’m glad I was assigned to read Drive because not only is it helping me learn and discover new things in my school work, but it also helped me realize what my teachers go through to try to get us to love to learn and to motivate us.


  1. What would the seniors do with their 20% time if we gave it to them?

  2. I agree with the senior seminar 20%, but you do agree then it some sort of autonomy that we as seniors have the privilege in working individually in our projects? Well if we don't do the work, it can turn out to be bad because we are doing this for our benefit, for our future and the college we plan to attend. Its not a matter of when we do it, but how we do our projects and whether or not they can be beneficial? Its true sometimes the " carrot and sticks" can work with students, and classes do tend to get boring at times, but it our intrinsic gut that makes us want to keep going forward. One of the key goals of the school is to educate and so far we have been, but still its not only the teacher who motivates us, but ourselves.