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John Locke

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Should teachers be asked or required to motivate as well as reach their students?

As a student who loves to learn I never understood my peers who were afraid of or who didn't enjoy school! But whether I understood them or not the fact remains the same. There are people who do not like to learn or go to school. Well obviously this is a real issue and my question is should teachers be in charge of not only teaching students about their subject but also inspiring them to enjoy, learn, and share knowledge. If they should do this, how can they create an environment where this can happen?


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  • Aug 19 2012: Of course teachers should be expected to motivate students! A teacher has to be a salesperson. Just like in sales, you must first convince the customer that your product has value, then that he or she NEEDS your particular type of the product, and if they miss getting it from you, right now, they may not have another chance. If you believe that the majority of students have sufficient motivation from their parents or within themselves, simply make an announcement that school it now optional and see how many show up tomorrow! But you can't "force" a teacher to motivate students any more than you can force the student to learn. True enthusiasm, like education, comes from within. Enthusiastic teachers would benefit from professional development classes with skilled salespeople and motivators like Dan Pink and Joe Verde...but school system administrators haven't crossed that bridge yet. I am a science teacher. I win my students' confidence first by treating them with respect, letting them know exactly what is expected of them and what they can expect from me, and then following through. I am very enthusiastic about teaching and about science, and every day I watch that fire spread to more of my students. That enthusiasm, not some state requirement, threat of punishment, or promise of reward, is what gives me the ability to motivate. The skill to motivate comes from years of sales and instructional experience.

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