Written by Paul Carey
“Oh, I just can’t get motivated about this school year.”
Does this sound like you? Have you found it difficult to find meaning in school this year in the midst of postponed activities and hours of staring at a screen?
Motivation can be hard to find during these current times, especially when there really is no metric to measure yourself by.
With so many students going back to school in a very different fashion, it is important to remember the small things that kept us focused during the school year when there wasn’t a pandemic–things that inspired us to learn or focus on the lesson for the day.
While many of those things may not exist right now, there are ways that you can stay motivated and active in classes. One specific way is by celebrating small successes!
What are small successes?
They can be anything that you would like them to be.
For instance, say you’ve really been struggling with math, and a concept finally starts to click. This is a time for celebration! Embrace your success!
Even if the task seems minimal, it is important for us to remind ourselves of our value, our worth, and our potential in completing that task successfully.
Many times, I’ve had to teach to a black screen with many students in the room but minimal to no interaction: SCARY! There is nothing quite like hearing yourself talk for two hours straight, wondering if anyone is listening.
In these moments of unknowing, I have to find things to keep myself motivated.
That’s why I mentally celebrate various small wins: for instance, every time I go over a presentation slide smoothly with no hitches, I tell myself Keep it up! I also celebrate any time a student asks me a question, which always excites me.
These moments bring me peace of mind. They affirm that I am going in the right direction, that someone is listening, and that maybe I am doing a pretty good job.
As tutors and teachers, our biggest focus is our students! We want them to be empowered, to be confident, and to carry those traits beyond our sessions. I know that to do this, I have to both provide solid teaching and create an environment built on small successes. I know there needs to be something to grow from, for myself and my students.
So the next time you find yourself struggling to stay focused or motivated, think about how you can create AND incorporate your own small successes when things get challenging.
Best wishes moving forward with the school year, and please feel free to share any of your small success stories! We’re more than excited to hear them.