Lately, I've been posting a lot about intrinsic motivation and the need for this not only in our schools, but also in society. This week I want to share with you the intrinsic motivation that drives me.
Building relationships with students has always been a passion of mine. I've always been an outgoing person, and if you ask my teachers they'd tell you I talked too much and read too little… Boy how some things change. I can't stop reading now, but still have a problem with talking way too much.
Over the last 8 years of teaching I've met some awesome students, but it wasn't until this year that it really got me….
The year started off like any other: football practice, followed by teacher in-service, followed by getting my room and lessons ready, followed by orientation meetings... I had a wonderful group of students, some of which I’ve been blessed to teach 2 years in a row.
I really developed a bond with one student in particular. This student would come to me before class and talk and hang out after too. We shared about our weekends and future plans, and sometimes we just acted weird together. He would always invade my “bubble” and give me a hug. As a middle school teacher, this can be a little strange because we typically don’t hug our students. Why not? If a student really needs a little extra attention is there harm in doing this? My parents still give me hugs to this day, and I’m now in my 30’s. Anyways, this is where it gets interesting, one day he said that I could be his adopted dad… At first I didn't know what to think about this, it made me feel a little awkward. This may sound a little strange to you too, but you see he has no father. After further reflection, I took great pride in this, and it gives me goosebumps just writing about it.
A wise person once told me that sometimes we need to refill our spiritual cups. What I think this person meant was we need to find ways to encourage our intrinsic motivation to grow and develop. This did exactly that, it refilled my cup to continue working through all the different challenges I face everyday.
I love what I do, and I love the fact that I make an impact on our future generation. Having experiences like the story I shared with you have helped me continue to have motivation that drives me to do my best everyday! How is your “spiritual” cup refilled? What’s your story?