Friday, June 27, 2008

More thoughts on motivation

The bit about lighting fires in my last post got me thinking just now about something that happened my first time around in the classroom - it came time to kick things into high gear, and my approach was to walk into that classroom with all of my friendliness gone and and start saying "I'm going to whip you into shape because I need you to do these things for the concert and I don't think you're ready yet so I'm going to be expecting a lot more work out of you." Big mistake. All I got from them was a begrudging attitude.

This time, and I didn't do this on purpose - I was just struck by the difference - at the initial reaction I got when I came in with a concerned but driven air (what's a word for that?) and said "Okay guys, here's the deal - we're half way done with camp, and you know that G that we've been having trouble hitting? Well I just saw the pieces we're playing for the concert, and we have to hit a C above that six times just in one piece! Now, let's buckle down today and see how much we can get done because there's a lot of work ahead of us."

This got a hugely different response out of them! Instead of mirroring my antagonism, they mirrored my sense for urgency and really buckled down hard. I'll let you know what happened over the weekend when I see them tomorrow.


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