Taxi Ride with Principal for motivating students to get better grades?Every school has its own way of doing things and I applaud any and every effort that is used and taken to motivate students to do more.
Children need motivation, a fun reason to do things they often times consider dull and a waste of their time. Teachers are expected to create and foster a love of learning but when time is taken away from the curriculum, many scream fowl - what they fail to see is that some of these activities are used as an incentive - to push, motivate and encourage children to do more.
I recently read an article that stated that our education system is dumbing down itself to help students who are at the lower spectrum feel good about themselves while regular and over achievers struggle because they are not being challenged enough to keep their interest. I sadly find this to be true, working in the school system I believe that education should be individualized (as best as it can be done by groups) in order to facilitate the children. Each child has a different style, way and attitude when it comes to learning and not all run at the same pace. The same goes for sports, music and just about anything that requires skill. To lower the standards in order to facilitate the feelings, not the education of a particular child only hinders that child and all the children that are forced to slow down as well (while most fear that a child may fall behind in a fast paced class they never consider the children who are being held back from advancing forward).
This dumbing down as it were only hinders the group as a whole. Take for instance my sons years of playing sports - he played pee-wee flag football and basketball in a church sponsored league. The goal of the organization was to teach the children sportsmanship, fairness and to have fun, of which, I agree with. What I do not agree to is the mentality that being fair means being dishonest - as in being partial with one who lacks ability, teaching a child that it is wrong to excel. To make it worst, failing to teach the fundamentals of a game because it doesn't matter, the children are only here to have fun - so why create a league? If competition doesn't matter then let them go play in a field or basketball court near home where I don't have to pay fees to join.
I am happy to say my daughter practiced, oh to my dismay she practiced every single day and then she recorded herself at least ten times in order to send the best audition tape she could. I prepared her for the worst – no, not by saying that if she doesn’t get it it’s alright. But by teaching her the realities of life; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but in the end, what matters most is that you and you alone know if you gave it your all. Happily I say she was accepted, she didn’t make first chair but every year she auditions and every year she gets better and is called back. To motivate her I go to the concert, we celebrate with a meal and I encourage her to continue to excel at whatever she does. I believe that is what our children need – motivation, encouragement, and a desire to excel.
So I am glad when we do something special for the kids. Some people may think we are wasting our time, misusing resources or passing up time that could be used in the class learning. Maybe, but think of it this way. That taxi ride, that mention of their name on our morning news, the ice cream party, the AR party – it encourages all the children to strive for excellence, to achieve greater heights. Every child is given an opportunity, if the child needs help we offer it, but how can they strive for more if we do not offer something in return. Sometimes all it takes to turn a child around is to offer them a prize, recognition, and something to give them a reason to move forward and upward.