Posts Tagged ‘motivation’
National Teacher Appreciation Day was this week on May 7 2013. This is a wonderful idea. Teachers deserve much more appreciation than they currently receive.
Teaching and education are the tool and the outcome in a student’s life. Much like the artist uses a brush to paint. The teacher is the artist, teaching is the brush and education is the finished canvas.
Teaching has been my journey for the last 27 years. I am not a school teacher any more but I still consider myself an educator. I teach, I coach, I present, I motivate, I do public speaking, I write, I do community work and in all those things I educate kids and grownups to find the gift they have inside let it shine.
I learnt about Down Syndrome first hand during my first year of university. I was working with a child with Down Syndrome during my work experience. At first, it was scary and I felt devastated. After getting to know the kid, I learned that he was no different than any other child with intellectual difficulties. To my greatest surprise, he improved quickly and learned a lot. It made me wonder how far we could go. I had my doubts when he did not get things the first time around, but he taught me that as long as I continued to teach him, he would continue to learn.
This experience, coupled with my work on a project about creative thinking (where we tried to teach physics to grade 1 students), taught me that too often we limit kids by our expectations. If we allow them to move forward at their own pace, they will exceed our highest expectations.
In my last few posts on human needs, we talked about how people have needs for certainty, variety, significance, love & connection and growth. The last need left for us to discuss is contribution. If we think of our needs in pairs, growth and contribution go together. These two needs usually appear last, after we have found ways of attaining the other four needs.
Unlike some of the other needs, growth and contribution are not in conflict with each other. They do not need to be in balance. Rather, the more we have of one, the more we have of the other one.
In the last chapter, I gave some examples to increase personal growth. In this chapter, I will cover examples to improve contribution.
Contribution is any act or intention to act that improves the position of others. It can be a physical improvement or even an emotional improvement. If the interaction has made the other person feel better, even in a small way, you have contributed to someone else’s life.
The first 4 needs we discussed (variety and certainty, significance and love and connection) may interfere with each other and are in constant strive for balance. The last two needs that people have are the need for growth and for contribution. Unlike the first 4 needs, these needs help and support each other in order to achieve a higher level of fulfillment.
It is estimated that we need to have our first four needs met before we are able to grow and contribute. For example, it is very hard for people to give when they do not have certainty. Think about it. How easy is it for someone to give their time when they are working 14 hours each day to provide for their family? How easy is it for you to invest in growing, learning, developing, when you are busy trying to fit in with others who think learning and developing are not socially favorable? Not very easy, right?
Love and connection are needs that we all have from the day we are born, right up until the day we die. Here are some examples of gaining/expressing/feeling love and connecting with others. Please remember that what is seen as a positive way of achieving love and connection for one, may be considered negative by another. For growth to happen, we each have to go through this process on our own.
Being in a loving relationship
Research on relationships, health, wealth and wellbeing proves that those who live for a long time and are happy together are those who stay in their relationship for many years. It can be relationship with another person or with a whole community. Every time we connect with someone else and the communication or connection is positive, we fill up our love tank.
A heap of songs and endless movies discuss love in all its forms. Some say that it is one of the most important feelings and that it rules the world. Others consider it the only feeling that exists, while all other feelings are simply the lack of it.
Our need to be loved and to be connected to the world around us starts even before birth. It starts during the 9 months of relationship we have with our mother, wrapped up inside of her and waiting for our first meeting with the world on our birth day. It continues on until the end of our lives. Everyone wants to love, everyone wants to be loved, everyone wants to feel connected and belong. It could be an instinct that we used throughout evolution in order to survive, or maybe it is a social need. For whatever reason, our well-being depends highly on others from the second we are born.
While most people think that love is an emotional need, research done on the connection to parents and caring for babies thinks otherwise. It was discovered that children who grew up in orphanages, who were only fed and cleaned, and who did not receive love and affection showed severe developmental and cognitive delays and even permanent damage to the brain. So, love in not only needed for our well-being but has a huge impact on our abilities to think, connect, maintain our health, succeed and live long.
To find the school that best fits you and your child, and make sure you get the highest return on one of the biggest investments of your life, there are some things to think about. You need to consider how each of the factors or school characteristics influences your child’s education and success.
Here are some tips of what to consider when trying determining your formula for finding the best school. These will improve the chances of your investment being a success. They are in no particular order.
The size of the school needs to match your kid’s personality. Big schools have more programs, more enrichment, and more options in teaching. But there is always a risk that your child will get lost in the hustle and bustle. Check out the school, go meet the principal, talk to parents. Often, parents choose little schools because they want their child to get personal attention. The principal knows the children by name and the school has a personal touch. My children went primary school with over 1600 kids in it. The principal knew all the kids’ names, their parents’ names, their parent’s professions and what their hobbies were. It is possible to get a big school with a personal touch. This was good for my kids. Other parents who went to the exact same schools felt that their child was just a number in such a big school. It was not for them.
As parents, our choice of appropriate school for our kids needs to be revaluated every year. If a child is spends up to 13 years at school, we should be re-evaluating our choice at least 13 times.
Unfortunately, some people just send their kids to the closest school. Sometimes, it is the only school available and in fact, they do not really have much of a choice. The majority of parents believe they should make schooling choices about two or three times. Depending on the structure of the education system, parents make choices about day care/ kindergarten, primary school, and middle school/high school. Some parents even consider this question only once and decide to send their kid to a college (which goes from kindergarten to Grade 12).
Significance is the quality of being worthy and special. Everyone is different so everyone wants to feel special in some way. Significance is not a desire but a need that people cannot live without. We all have this need to feel unique and different.
If you have ever watched parents or siblings when a baby has just come home from the hospital, you can see that the baby gets lots of attention. It can be asleep in a crib, opening its eyes, or doing nothing all and everyone is still fascinated. To all mothers and fathers, their baby is the most beautiful thing in the world. Why? Because their baby is special to them.
The desire to be special starts at birth and is essential to physical and emotional development in babies. This was investigated in a study conducted on babies in an orphanage. It was found that those who were given care but not attention did not developed physically and emotionally due to lack of touch and attention. Babies who had a replacement mother figure, (regardless of gender) who gave them attention developed properly.
Education is one of the most important investments in life (followed closely by investing in relationships). Many people around the world spend a fortune on a good school for their kids. Sadly, this fortune is often wasted and they end up blaming their children for not making the most out of the opportunity they were given. It is similar to investing in the share market or in property, you find a lousy house or buy very shaky shares and complain when they do not increase in value.
Children spend the majority of their most valuable childhood years in educational institutions. Think about it this way: out of 7 days a week, 5 of them are dedicated to schooling. If the kids are also stimulated in other ways, they may even spend some of their weekends in educational endeavors.
Much like other investments, the decision whether to invest or not, and in what to invest depends on the potential return. If the return is high, it is considered a good investment. If the return is low, it is not a very good investment, and if there is likely to be a loss, it is a terrible investment.