It’s a Wonder We Can Think at All

(Click on the title to read the complete post) My first weeks as a teacher were desperate times, despite the fact that I had been trained to teach the very students sitting in front of me. This is not atypical due to Education’s failure to follow the models provided by other professions where newbies learn their way around the block as clerks and interns before being set free to practice their professions. Fortunately, I was saved by a demanding principal and a compassionate and knowledgeable Science Department Chair. Survival, as so often happens with emerging teachers, is more often a matter of good fortune than systemic support. I had been lucky, and thanks to these two great educators, I was surviving, but I was not thriving, and in my view, neither were my students!

The Three C’s and Student Achievement

(Click on title to read the complete post.) Intrinsic motivation is that which causes you or me to engage in a behavior that arises from within us because it is naturally satisfying to us. Self Determination Theory or SDT provides a complex and thorough understanding of why we do what we do, but for educators, a subset of SDT explains that intrinsic motivation is influenced by three things: having an opportunity to feel as though one has some control over one’s life, being connected in a meaningful way to others, and being provided with opportunities to feel competent. Unfortunately, (according to my non-scientific sample of one) too few American educators are familiar with something that is generally accepted motivational theory among educators around the world.