We all know the sense of relief and deep satisfaction that comes once a large piece of work is completed or the joy and sense of achievement when a student conquers a challenging task. As teachers we are lucky to experience small wins everyday.
Pause for a moment though, and think about your students. Do they experience the same satisfaction of achieving something everyday? Particularly the struggler who doesn’t enjoy school or who hasn’t yet mastered the basics when the rest of the class is moving on to an extension task.
Intrinsic motivation is a powerful force. Most students display some degree of intrinsic motivation which makes it easier for them to achieve and experience the satisfaction that accompanies it. However, other students may lack the internal motivation driving them to learn. These are the students who are most likely to be missing out on experiencing regular satisfaction from their learning.
We all know how important it is to recognise students for displaying effort and completing good work. But being recognised for a job well done should not be confused with the personal satisfaction that comes with completing a challenging task.
A small win each day for the struggling student will lead to increased confidence, which, over time leads to better results and hopefully an improvement in their ability to intrinsically motivate.
At the core of our role as teachers, we are trying to empower students through education. Every day remember to give every student the opportunity to feel empowered through achievement.