This is the second in a series of three blogs about teacher-student motivation I’ve started to write.
I wrote my first blog about this topic having an inspiration from a video about animal imprinting. In that video a newborn duckling started following a puppy upon coming out of its egg. Apparently, ducklings follow the first moving object they see as soon as they hatch.
I started to ponder the question of why our students sometimes follow us as if we were mother/father ducks. It’s an incredibly satisfying moment. I’m not referring to being a mother/father duck, I’m referring to that feeling that we get when we have a sense that we are leaving a positive imprint on our students.
So what makes people feel attracted to our classes? What motivates people to learn with us? Carl Rogers, the American psyhologist, suggested that there are three core teacher characteristics that help to create an effective learning environment. These are: respect, empathy and authenticity.
We may know loads of teaching methodologies which will aid us. From my experience, I can say, I just love learning about the most current trends in pedagogy. I’m also aware that respect, empathy and authenticity are key to generate a positive psychological environment for learning.
“It is our attitude and intentions rather than our methodology that we may need to work on” (Carl Rogers).
People can tell when we have a positive attitude towards them, when we acknowledge them and when they see we are true to ourselves. Students engage in our classes naturally when we respect them and when we take our time to listen to, observe and assist them.
I have a hunch that students will choose to “follow” us when we help to create the conditions for them to feel confident, relaxed and capable of learning.
So what do you think? What can you tell us about your experience? And last but not least, what moves us to teach in such a positive way?
Your welcome to post your ideas, which I will share in my third blog.
Georgina Hudson's blogs are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.