Thursday, February 24, 2011

Batteries Not Included

Last night, I had the privilege to hear Richard Lavoie speak at a high school in North York. Rick is a phenomenal speaker and educator, and an expert on special needs.

The topic of the seminar was "Motivational Breakthrough: Secrets to Turning on the Tuned-out Child."
You can check out the article on this here. He has also recently published a book on the subject.

It was phenomenal. My eyes were really opened.

He discussed how EVERYONE is motivated (every adult and child), because EVERY SINGLE voluntary human action is motivated. If a student chooses to sit at their desk with their head down instead of completing their math assignments, they ARE motivated - but not to complete their math. They are motivated to keep their head down and avoid the assignment.

We, as teachers, need to find out what motivates kids. That's our job.

Richard discussed how many teachers think they are experts of motivation because there are always a few students sitting at the front - during every lesson - taking all of the information in, and eating it up.

However, Rick says that these children came with batteries already included! They don't need the same kind of motivation that many others require to work at their full potential.

He discussed eight key motivators (as identified by Lee Canter) which motivate all of us to varying degrees:

Status - the need to be important

Inquisitiveness - the need to gain knowledge

Affiliation - the need to associate

Power - the need for authority

Aggression - the need to assert

Autonomy - the need for independence

Achievement - the need for recognition

Gregariousness - the need to belong

Each person has his or her own unique pattern of motivators. 

I am most motivated by affiliation (I like belonging to an organization that I feel connected to, eg. Laurier, LSFL, my school), autonomy (the ability to make my own decisions on a day-to-day basis), and achievement (I like to be recognized for my accomplishments).

What motivates you?

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