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Chatting About Helping African-American Boys


I frequently go back and read the transcripts from the chats we run on edweek.org. The questions alone highlight how desperately educators are seeking answers to their problems. The answers from our featured guests try to point people in the right direction toward solving those problems.

One recent chat transcript that is particularly worth noting is "Helping African-American Boys." We had very high volume of questions for that chat and our guests did a good job of answering them.

There were quite a number of motivation-related questions and answers. So check it out.


I've been teaching for 9 years and there's a few things I've learned along the way that I've use for motivation:
First, my passion for science and love for kids is conveyed in my classroom. I have clear "understandings" and objectives posted that are visited in the beginning of the class and at the end. I speak the language of the kids. I put everyone on an even playing field, put the control in their hands, and allow choices. We all have weaknesses...and so I provide them opportunities to reflect, goal set, and later reflect on their successes. I provide many opportunities to celebrate success.
Just a few...hope they help.

the motivation to learn is innate in the human animal: just look at any little child. schools are organized to destroy this motivation and lead to the expenditure of vast funds and much hand-wringing about motivation. the answer is simple: make schools places where students and teachers are involved in true education.

Quite honestly? Treat students the way you would like to be treated if you could redo high school! Simple as that! I ran into 2 former students recently.Kids who didn't follow the regular track-ended up making poor grades-uninterested,but bright and they both finished in adult ed.They said they loved my class because I wasn't like the other teachers because I listened and cared. Simple to me now after 18 yrs of teaching but it took relaxing & treating ea. kid like a person not like when I use to rush through lessons if necessary to meet deadlines.Many kids really need us more now-their homes are a mess & they just need 1 adult to give them that smile or extra touch & they really become putty in your hands-it's amazing.I never have discipline problems anymore that I can't handle myself.AND it helps when I go in everyday with a great attitude even if I have to fake it for the 1st period.Teachers set the tone.Kids feel our energy whether it is nervous or calm & caring & they want to please so they perform. They appreciate that maturity we give off because some of our fellow teachers are TOO hyper-most are-now that state testing has made them too uptight-not their faults-but they need to chill some-their are bigger problems in the world, ya know?Kids can also learn by how we handle our stress.One teacher fainted in class this year at our school-since I teach health it really showed stress kills.

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Recent Comments

  • Carole: Quite honestly? Treat students the way you would like read more
  • jack tobin: the motivation to learn is innate in the human animal: read more
  • Pamela Pennington: I've been teaching for 9 years and there's a few read more




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