In my over 20 years in public education, I have seen my fair share of students who became disinterested with school. This manifested itself in obvious ways such as not turning in work, poor grades, lack of participation in classroom activities, and just a general apathy for school.
Equally alarming to me was the evolution I saw in my own children concerning their attitudes about school. Both girls, bright and compliant, came to dislike going to school. Not to the point where they were missing days or receiving poor marks, it was more subtle. Whereas before my daughters could not wait to get to school to see what interesting thing they were going to learn, in their later years the act of going to school became a chore, a job. What had happened to that enthusiasm they had displayed those first few years of school? Where did things go wrong and suddenly they were hoping for snow days or counting down the time until summer break? What had happened to my daughters’ love of learning?
This is what this book sets out to do; to change the mindset about schools as being places someone goes because they have to, rather than going because they want to. To take the love of learning every student possesses and make school the place where this can happen. The idea behind this book is that teachers can use the strategies shared to make their classrooms places where students want to go to learn, to help to motivate not just the unmotivated, but to inspire those kids who once loved going to school. This book seeks to answer that age old question, how the hell do we motivate these kids.
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