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Chapter 3: Keeping At It

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message 1: by Franki (new)

Franki Sibberson | 19 comments Mod
This is for discussions around thoughts and ideas from Chapter 3.

message 2: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Mere (catmere) | 11 comments As I move more into this book I find myself thinking more and more about what this means for my classroom.

This chapter was a good reminder of the importance of being able to closely observe experts (even within our classrooms), having exemplars, and time for practice.

The quote on motivation on page 51 caught my attention:

"Motivation to learn is a product of those states of mind (task is important, belief they could accomplish the task, etc.), not a precursor".

Sometimes I think some people are more naturally motivated than others. Take teachers for example, some seem motivated to learn, make changes, engage in conversations, etc. while others seem to not be as motivated. However, this statement has me really thinking that motivation likely isn't a "natural" way of being for most, but instead comes from some type connection to the significance of the work. How do we create that significance for learning in our learning communities? What do students (learners) who lack motivation need?

message 3: by Gaby (new)

Gaby Richard-harrington | 13 comments Teachers who are motivated to learn new things and are able to admit that there are things they don't yet know - are better role models for the process we call life-long learning. No one is an expert in everything. Teachers must be the first to show that they are constantly learning, and growing, and changing. We must show that it is also difficult for us to keep up with the pace of change. We expect that from our students!

message 4: by Tony (new)

Tony Keefer (keeferto) | 6 comments Cathy, I too have wondered about the idea of motivation as a natural stance for people. I am hoping as I get deeper into this book, that I will be able to pull together some thinking about helping the not-so-motivated become a little more motivated.

Gaby, I agree completely with the idea that we as educators need to be more open with our constant learning.

More random thoughts from me:
Chapter 3
What is worth the trouble for elementary students?  While I am impressed with the stories and decision making of these hs students, I am stuck wondering if elementary students have the capacity to know what is worth the trouble? Is this wrong to wonder?  I know there are examples of elementary students who have passions, but where I teach/live, it seems the kids that excel at something are at that point due to a parental nudge.  Sports, music, dance, etc seem to be driven more by the parents tan the kids themselves.

Watching the best, there definitely seems to be a lack of this idea in schools.  We are kind of set up to be individuals first.  Yes there are great places where collaborative learning is entrenched.  But in my room, when we embark on projects like this, it's not like we are actively seeking those who are better than us.  This also holds true for teachers as learners.  I can't really remember the last time I had the opportunity to go watch another teacher.

Proving you can can be a very powerful motivator, but I am not seeing it happen very often.  Maybe it is the climate where I teach, but it seems the idea that it can be very rewarding to work hard through a process is lost.  If you can't do it right the first time, then something must be wrong.  How do I overcome this problem.

In the section called "Encouragement equals expectation" one comment really stood out to me.  The idea that a person providing the encouragement has been there, struggling with the same issues, was so powerful to me. At times I forget about this idea, but when I think of those who have mentored me along the years, the best ones have always shared their difficulties.

During the closing paragraphs of this chapter, I really started thinking why we as teachers and parents try to push our kids in so many different directions.  Should we be trying to use a shotgun approach hoping our kids will find something that drives them or should we be looking for signals for the few things that our kids truly love and build from there?

message 5: by Gaby (new)

Gaby Richard-harrington | 13 comments Tony,
Your comment "If you can't do it right the first time, then something must be wrong. How do I overcome this problem," is an interesting one. It goes back to my earlier comment of admitting that we as teachers don't know everything either.

Embark on a learning journey together with your students. Choose something that none of you know about or know how to do. Learn it together!

I was a PE major as an undergrad. One of my professors instilled in me the importance of always learning something new...because we needed to remember what it is like to learn. He made us learn how to juggle. He said that all PE majors are good athletes with physical abilities above average. We need to constantly remember that our students may not have physical skills come as easily as we did. We needed to remember what it was like to learn and be frustrated and practice, etc. It worked. I learned to juggle. Next was gymnastics. Next was ice skating. He kept us on our toes in many ways. I have never forgotten this.

message 6: by Franki (new)

Franki Sibberson | 19 comments Mod
I found this blog post today and it connected to this part of the reading to me. I thought it was an interesting visual that included lots about teacher as learner too. Gaby, that piece about models of life-long learning seems so important. Here is the link for anyone interested. Would love to know if you think it connects or if I stretched the connection too much.

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