It's that dreary time where Christmas fun and the excitement of a new semester has worn off, and yet it's not quite close enough to Spring Break to count down. The weather, in most cases, is cold and gray. So. How do we keep going?
Honestly, when I was asked this question in my second (maybe it was third) interview for becoming a public school teacher after our move from Waco, Texas to Bryan, Texas, my heart jumped up into my throat, head, temple, on my tongue, inside my ear... wherever my heart was, it was NOT in my chest!
Why did I freeze? Well, for two reasons: first, because I REALLY wanted to teach in THIS school. (The other schools I had interviewed with on the same day served as practice, as well as my back up plans. This was the "rough school," and that's where I was called to teach. Spoiler alert: I got the job!) Second, because, I knew my honest answer was not going to be popular. Do I choose to answer honestly, or do I go with the "best answer?"
I chose to answer honestly, because that's sort of who I am. So, how do we keep going when we lack motivation? We find a carrot. That's right, we bribe our students. And GOSH did I bribe! My principal smiled broadly when I leaned forward and told her my plans...
I created all sorts of games, special challenges; I even had a putt putt device that you got to play EACH Friday, if you had 3 of your 5 homework assignments completed. If you got a hole in one, you got to leave the classroom 5 seconds early! Bribe bribe bribe!
And guess what: it worked. My students were well-behaved and learned more Spanish than the other teachers in the hallway, who were sticking with drill and kill methods with a group of tired, restless, unmotivated seventh graders. So, this week, I recommend a carrot in the form of games with your flash cards, or a free bingo game (check out the video below) or a movie viewing, in Spanish. Grab a carrot and let's boost that motivation!
If you are a Newsletter subscriber, you received a free code in your email for the Valentine Bingo. It's good until Feb 16, 2019 at midnight.