If there is one thing that can make me stomp my foot and say “Yes! This is why I want to teach!” it is watching a kid talk about what they believe in. I honestly can feel my smile creeping onto my face, and a laugh bubbling inside me because it makes me so excited. Logan LaPlant’s speech did this, and so did Jacob Barnett’s.
Daniel Pink has a great video as well about the puzzle of motivation. It focuses on intrinsic motivation and the three things that lend themselves to this are…
Autonomy- the urge to direct our own lives
Mastery- the desire to get better and better at something that mattes
Purpose- the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
The carrot and stick of extrinsic motivation does not work, it will not get the full results we so badly want as teachers. Intrinsic motivation is how we will have successful, happy, passionate kids who are driven from within. Isn’t that the kind of people we want in our world as well? People who dig in for the things they care about and make a difference. I understand that we have a lot of content that we must “get through” by the end of the year, but that is not an excuse to dismiss a child’s autonomy, and help them to discover one’s autonomy as well.
Any of the videos I talked about here can be used in a classroom to get kids to start thinking about their own autonomy, their own dreams and the possibilities that could unfold if they go for their goals. I will use Ted Talk videos in my classroom whenever they are appropriate because they are so inspiring. Also if I am ever in a principal position I think they are a great way to get teachers to think outside of the box and get their reasons behind teaching fired up again.
Watch The Video Here