I really enjoyed reading the first few chapters of this book, because I find it interesting. It’s challenging because I find myself thinking about myself and my own motivation and engagement in this course. The meta-thinking gets in the way of my own objectivity yet I am trying to harness this into experiential learning. This entire program is interesting in the sense that we are at the same time learners and teachers. We are learning how to teach, therefore we are learners. Yet we are also teaching each other concepts and in some courses (PIDP 3220) we are teaching mini-lessons. In that course I was learning to teach, while teaching. It’s kind of messing with my head a little bit.
Here is what I got from the text book to this course:
“Motivation is the portal to engagement.” – Barkely, 2010
“…students’ motivations are strongly influenced by what they think is important and what they believe they can accomplish. Students’ expectations are inextricably linked with their self-perceptions. Students must have confidence that, with appropriate effort, they can succeed. If there is no hope, there is no motivation.” Barkely, 2010
This rings true to me in my own experience as a student, both in the past and presently. If I find myself doubting my ability to succeed in the course sometimes I want to back out of the program completely. I am not a teacher (although I’d like to be one day) and my only experience is in mentoring. This lack of practical experience is adding to my lack of confidence. It’s further compounded when I look at the blogs of my peers who have many years of teaching experience. In comparison, my ability to write, reflect, blog, is infantile.
These feelings I am having are not unique. I am a learner trying to become a teacher. My feelings are no different from the students I wish to teach in the future. There is no better way for me to learn this than experiencing it myself while I am studying and learning it from a text book. I am breathing proof that the chart above is indeed true.
I must use this experience to guide how I teacher learners in the future. I must remember the experience I am having now so that I can understand where my learners are coming from; exactly where I have been myself.
Barkley, E.F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.