Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Motivation. AGAIN.

It is the elephant in the room, and sometimes not even that metaphorical. What do you do with a kid who

Give choices. Check.

Change delivery method. Check.

Give frequent breaks. Check.

Be very scheduled. Check.

Break down into small steps. Check.

Tweak diet. Check (as much as possible when the kid is not your kid).

Physical activity. Check.

Consequences. Painful ones. Check.

Be consistent. Check

Positively reinforce. Check.

Allow the kid to do NOTHING for a period of time. Check.

Hand over complete control to the kid. Check.

And still, in spite of all of this, the kid does nothing. What then?

I am beginning to think it is like a staring contest. You find the combination of factors that worked the best (maybe not worked 100%, but the highest percentage of success), and then you consistently implement those factors. Do not lower expectations. Do not waffle. Do not waiver. Eventually, painfully, inevitably (hopefully?), the kid will blink and do the work (and I am not talking about just teacher-y work; I am talking about kid-based "work" that is fun but requires more thought and effort than watching TV and playing videogames, work the kid chose to do. Resistence is expected on some of the other teacher-y work, but how do you respond when the kid picked the assignment and won't do it? A puzzler.).

This is my theory. I haven't found a research-based answer anywhere, and I have looked. If my theory proves correct, I am going to bottle my formula and sell it for a nickel and retire with eleventy-million dollars.

We will see what happens...

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