Monday, May 26, 2008

Motivating the Unmotivated

On the weekend, I watched a touching bollywood movie(my favourite kind)named "Tare Zameen." It was about a kid who seemed completely and utterly unmotivated at school. He was ostracized by his peers, his teacher and even by his own parents due to his inability to read and be successful in school. The boy had become so overwhelmed with all the negativity that surrounded him that he withdrew into himself. Then came a teacher who recognized his inability as a symptom of dislexia. Often, students are not motivated to succeed for reasons other than "not trying" or "being lazy". In fact, some students just can't do it as much as they want to. It is the teacher's role to recognize this fact and create a supportive learning environment for the child that is conducive to success. Extra help, peer tutoring and teacher interventions can all help a child be successful. Ability and motivation are inextricably linked. Recognizing this fact will help more students succeed.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Silliness will get you somewhere

Child rearing. Some say it isn't what it used to be. I have what you would call a "spirited child". She is something else. She has been from day one. Stubborn, headstrong, very intelligent, and a leader. Dealing with my daughter has caused me much grief. Some days are bright and sunny and others are quite the opposite. I have sought out many opportunities to learn to "tame" my spirited child - with little success. I have read a couple of books - "Taming the spirited child" and "The Great Mom Myth". I have attended some seminars and in the end I have found a strategy that works. Being silly. Kids love silliness. It makes them happy - it makes them laugh. Then they are more inclined to agree to go to bed or eat their dinner or say their prayers. The problem is that we as parents are not always in the frame of mind to be silly. We are tired after a day's work and just want to relax. Well guess what? There is no relaxing with kids (not until they are asleep at least). Kids demand attention and they should get it. Why not be giggly and geared up at the same time?