Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sparking Motivation ( 9 of 30 in 30 day day blog challenge)


I am currently reading Grading Smarter Not Harder by M Duek. The whole topics of grades, giving zeros, and homework are definitely things I feel passionately about and will bog about them in the future. Suffice to say I don’t believe in traditional grades there is nothing that kills motivation than a zero and homework needs to be really thought out before ones assigns it.

The obvious question is how to stay Motivated!

Yesterday I tweed the following that address the point in reverse; “Intrinsic motivation decreases once people are paid to do what they used to do for fun” via D Pink #edchat
I think we can say when not paid motivation goes up.

Enter the 30 Day Blog Challenge!

Let me digress a bit and give some background

I recently started what start off as a personal 30 day blog challenge. There have been a lot of things going on in my life which I have blogged about and was no longer motivated and basically stopped blogging. Listening to a Principal Cast changed that and the 30 day blog challenge was born. I really created it for myself as a way to pick myself up and motivate myself during some difficult times. However because of my PLN and a dare we now have about six others who have taken on the challenge and we are always looking for more.
The key is that its personal, yes we support each other tweet and RT each other’s blogs but it truly is an intrinsic motivation with no other motive.  No one checks and its open ended. I will keep the challenge going and be supportive for anyone that wants to join. Someone today told me they will join but can’t start until the second week of August, I said no problem.

(I will let you in on a secret I hope to continue blogging daily even after the 30 days without all the fanfare.)

The challenge ignited the motivation.

I have also taken upon myself the commitment of studding one page of Talmud a day ( known in Hebrew as Daf Yomi) I have been doing now for two years and after seven and half years G-D willing finish all six orders of the Talmud only to hopefully start again.

Yet no matter how many times I try to exercise and diet it never seems to last.
Truth be told I am not sure why I am motivated for something’s and not others but I will share with you some takeaways

  •  Having support of your friends and family makes it ten times easier to complete a challenge
  • There are going to be things that one will naturally be more motivated to do no matter what like studding the Talmud
  • Even intrinsic motivation needs a jump start and something to ignite it

So what lessons can we use with our students Well rewards and payments will cause intrinsic motivation to decrease.
We need to tap into what they find fun, challenging, and stimulating.
Bottom line there are going to be somethings that kids and people just aren’t motivated to do


  1. Motivation isn't always the easiest thing to come across... I am consistently sidetracked as a learner. Even right now, when I should be analyzing my research:)

    It is what keeps us going when we feel like we are falling off the rails... and sometimes we stumble & need help getting back on. That is where the support comes in:)

    I am excited to continue this journey alongside such passionate educators. It is fun to watch this adventure picking up steam!

    Let's keep this #30dayblogchallenge going strong.

  2. Thank you for your comment
    I couldn't agree more.
    Keep the motivation coming

  3. I think I saw the Youtube video on that! Isn't motivation interesting? One of the areas that I struggle the most with is grading. How is it failing if you are trying? I am working up the courage to blog on this. I am so happy to have connected with this cool group and, even though it has stressed me a bit, I WANT to do it. I'm like my own personal motivation case study! We got this #30dayblogchallenge

  4. Yrs the Daniel Pink line comes from a TED talk he gave