I was fortunate to be able to attend the Wisconsin Music Educators Association annual state conference this last week. I'm thankful that our school district and administration recognize the benefit for teachers to gather and learn from experts in our field.
One of the sessions I attended was on motivation by Chris Gleason, a respected band director in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. In this session he highlighted some of the great research that has been done about motivation and how we might be able to apply these findings to our students.
This TED talk by Daniel Pink is a great summary of the ideas that Chris Gleason references. Go ahead and watch it (it is worth every minute) and then read on.
The danger of me going to a great conference like the one in Madison is that I have a tendency to return to the classroom and want to immediately incorporate the hundreds of new ideas I picked up.
Rather than falling into that trap, I decided to ask the students what motivated them. I prefaced it by asking them "not to be funny" and write down answers like "Food" or "Whips and chains", though some of them still did. I have to admit that the results of this anonymous activity really point to the caliber of student we have in our school. Take a look at the answers - I think they speak for themselves.
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