I wrote down this quote (see above) at the “Science of Nurturing Gratitude” workshop held at TKG recently. It struck me because it made me think about how important it is to stay inspired, to seek out inspiration, and to continuously offer possible inspiration to my students. After all, if we aren’t inspired, we won’t feel motivated. And, we all know, when we aren’t motivated to do something… it won’t get done, it won’t be meaningful, there will be no desire to put in any effort. Additionally, motivation doesn’t always come from inside of us—some extrinsic experience ignites that light within us. I have some observations and reflections demonstrating how intrinsic motivation is sparked:
For the past couple of weeks, some of the Acorns have been inspired by a collection of plastic piping that was donated to us a few weeks ago. During Movement Time, they have been working hard together to build different structures with these pipes. The pipe pieces will disconnect, causing the Acorns great frustration, but the motivation to create whatever it is they have envisioned allows them to persevere and work through the setbacks. While the structures aren’t always finished in the set amount of time, the Acorns very carefully packed up each piece so that they can begin again the next day.
There were several Acorns with whom I met during Word Wizards time with the goal to work on their writing. Writing is no easy task, especially at such a young age; it can often feel laborious and is often avoided. When each one of these Acorns drew a meaningful picture, however, they suddenly were so committed and excited to write about their drawing. Each Acorn became so animated about their drawing and what they wanted to say in their writing.
Some of the students were inspired by a song they all know and they got together during Movement Time and practiced on their own for a couple of days. They assigned roles to each other and it culminated in a performance for the class in the lower courtyard—all student led!
With inspiration, something is ignited within us. As a teacher, I work hard to find what might inspire the kids in my class—collectively and individually. For example, a few of the Acorns have brought in “fidget spinners,” a toy they are very excited about. It has motivated me to find a way to incorporate this totally cool tool into a fun STEM lesson I can do with them.
Personally, the motivation I have to work on and create a beautiful garden in my tiny backyard area was inspired by all of my neighbors’ beautiful gardens that I walk by daily. Not only that, but my dad always gardened when I was growing up, and hearing his voice in my head talk about gardening inspires me to work on my very own garden every spring.
What motivates you?
Jill Vengerik, Acorns Teacher
Lena Garcia, Head of Education, Acorns Teacher
Trish Valdez, School Business Manager
Monica Evangelist, Board President
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