Balance & Motivation
From a very young age, children learn how the world works. If I scream, I get picked up. If I cry, I get the attention I need or the problem rectified. The motivation or desire we have often dictates how we act or behave. For those amongst us that are in paid employment, our fortnightly pay day can be a significant motivation for us to get out of bed and turn up to work each day. Hopefully there are other motivations here also. For our staff it is seeking the opportunity to serve our great God in this place, to work with incredibly talented and adventurous students and to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.
But what about our students? What motivates them? Is it the reward they receive? The ‘Well Done’, ‘Great Work’, ’10 out of 10’. Is it the award they receive at the assembly? The recognition at presentation evening or simply knowing they have done a good job. Or is it simply the love of learning. Knowing that with the adventure of learning, and the love of new skills and knowledge, our students grow in their understanding of themselves and their world.
St Peter’s staff continue to think through the implications of motivating our students.
Of asking them to complete a myriad of tasks and expecting they will do them, not because of the gold star of the reward they may receive, but because this is what they should be doing. Motivation and obedience go hand in hand, yet obedience isn’t generally something that our society accepts as a norm. Rather than expecting and instilling obedience in our children, in our students, often negotiation takes place and children miss out learning the important fact that there are times in our lives where we simply have to do things – not because we necessarily want to, but because it is expected and needed.
Be it at home, where we expect our children to pick up after themselves, or at school where we expect our students to come to school in their uniform, ready to learn and to comply with the tasks asked of them throughout the day. Our students should be doing these things not because we will hand out appropriate rewards, but because it is the right thing to do.
This isn’t to say that we don’t or won’t recognise our students where appropriate. We do and we will continue to do so. It is however about the motivation for this recognition. Another area where getting the balance right can be difficult, yet one where we continue to reflect and discuss as a professional learning community.