Presentation at the 2012 NAESP conference in Seattle, WA. Discussed examples used in Kent School for creating the conditions to increase motivation of staff and students as well as focusing on student strengths rather than deficits.
Work of Deci and Ryan, Daniel Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, Alfie Kohn, Dr. Ross GreeneWe are helping to raise kids – this takes years. There is no simple quick fix solution so we need to change our focus from short term to long term.Today I will share thoughts, ideas and stories that have helped change the culture of our school… and not cost anything more than TIME.I hope in the next hour, I can share some stories and we can have some reflective dialogue – in the end we can find 2-3 things we can take back to our schools for Monday.
My story… who am I? Principal, Father, Husband, Teacher, LearnerWhy this topic? why is motivation important. What do I want for my kids (my own and my students)?I want my kids to do the right things because they have the will and the skill not because I have bribed or threatened them, not because I want them to make someone else lose, but because it is just the right thing to do. I want my kids to be learners. I want my kids to be aware of their strengths and their challenges and what to do about that.
Strengths, restitution, awards, honour roll, AFL, school vision, demographicWe have a very challenging school – but few discipline problems with those students who have been at our school 2+ years.Achievement has remained the same and is now on the rise… school culture is flourishing (7+ years in the making)Staff and student satisfaction/morale is through the roof – I love our school. Guests to our school always comment on the naturally welcome, positive, respectful climate we have.
This is the statement that drives the majority of the decisions at our school. My district provides me with the autonomy to take risks and fuel my passions.
I don’t like to dichotomize the 2… think of it more as a CONTINUUM of motivation in people.Praise, feedback, etc – all depends on the purpose and how it is used.
A must read for any parent, leader, educator – one of the resources that changed the way I coach, teach, and lead.Based on the work of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan’s “Self-Determination Theory – “provide the conditions”Autonomy – choiceMastery – asymptote but the quest to do wellPurpose – WHY!?!?!
How do we work to create the conditions for our students to motivate themselves?Relationships: time WITH studentsAFL: get them on a winning streak, descriptive feedback to support and challenge Tom Schimmer – over prepare em and get em on a winning streak!Interests and Passions – personalize learning based on who the child is and what the love to doLeadership: students working WITH students, not just organizing parties but truly LEADING, mentoring, teaching, coaching
Providing conditions for staff:VOICE: flatten the hierarchy with support staff, admin, teachers - Growth Plan, staff meeting agenda, lead WITHKey word is PROFESSIONAL – support teachers with the tools they need to be greatGive time for teachers to spend in areas of passion
Role of TL – always time for kids to check out booksWhat we are readingVIP readers, read aloud, book swap, book shoppingAuthor visitDress up like a character day, buddy readingREAD-INStudents so excited for books and reading1
Offered to staff, 6 weeks of extra prep to focus on area of his/her passion, 3 took me up on offer.Ed Tech in primary, Connecting students in intermediate, Eco education – school gardenThe impact of this continues to spread.
Michelangelo – every stone has a statue inside it – it is up to the sculptor to discover itWhich lens do we look through – one of strengths or deficits?
What are we stating to kids in report cards, feedback? NOT saying we need to be always positive – still continue to challenge and support deficits but include strengths and phrase in a learning manner.
So many of our students go through school learning all the things they cannot do and either not realizing or completely forgetting the things they CAN do. Support the struggles, and celebrate and challenge the strengths.
We cannot TELL students their strengths, we must provide the conditions for them to discover or use them.
Met Dom in my visit to the school when he was in grade 4Asked for him to be in my grade 5/6 class. Was stubborn, reluctant learner.Struggled with my class (esp Dom) so I met with my principal – what are they good at? Didn’t know – all I knew was that he would not do any work.Worked with FNSW to help find what he was good at. Music, DRUMMING and speakingStarted drumming 3 times a week with Nelson, then invited others to join. Played in in front of our class. Played in front of our school. Part of the Pre-Olympic performance.
Twitter – George Couros shared on blog. Aligned well with our school vision and growth plan.Shared with staff – willing to try.One of the most powerful days as an educator. Students learned so much about themselves and each other.Autonomy – no criteria, no grades.
Based on WHO the child is and not what they did for me.
Carol Dweck – Fixed = cannot change, born athletic/academic/artistic, focused on result – when failure occurs, it is because of ability so often give upGrowth = learners, willing to take risks, when failure occurs – try another route or put in more effortPraising effort vs ability “You are so smart” = encouraging fixed.Descriptive feedback, AFL – coaching on what is done well and how can improve. Focused on feedback rather than grade.
Calvin on a “fixed” mindset.
Are we encouraging learners or grade-getters? Focusing on the results or the process. IN Canada, much less focus on test scores and data so a bit easier to shift focus.
Moving the focus from grades to process of learning –ongoing, no endpoint, no select “club”, why do we need to all arrive at the same time?Tom Schimmer – anxiety, losing streakPurposeWhat do we do now? COS Assemblies, Gr. 6 Celebration – 2-3 strengths and/or interests of each child – focus on effort feedback (growth mindset)We DO NOT want to take away from those who would have been award winners... We continue to challenge and honour them but we ALSO challenge and honour those with skills in different areas.
Change started before I was at the school with parents and staff. Changed in 2010Why? Alignment with school goalsSilly process... Lots of kids watching a select few of their peers get honoured for select skills that we deem more importantStudents come with advantages and disadvantages – environment and factors beyond controlREAL WORLD – really?What do we focus on – do we honour just a select few?If awards are the only motivator, what does that say?We force kids into a game that was never meant to be played as a game.. .then we decide (and argue about) the winners and losersInteresting concept... If everyone else loses... You win.
Love the idea of competition as a choice. Sports is a big part of my life so I cannot sit here and slam competition… but I CHOOSE to compete. I am a horrible dancer… my wife formed a dad’s group and we competed against other adult novelty groups – not competitive DANCERS!
Cynical/satirical post but wanted to make a point. If awards are so necessary to success, why do we not see this in families? Do we pick our “best child” and highlight their strengths or do we support all kids?
For me, it is more about honouring each child and helping every child to succeed – I am not opposed to competition (in sports for example) but it must be a choice.We also do not give awards to every child – we HONOUR every child – this as nothing to do with a trophy or certificate.
Video showing positives around the school.
Does rewarding and punishing teach the skills we are trying to see in our children? Used to be a rewards/punishment guy – focused on grades, bonus marks, Bobcat Bucks, garbage duty, detentions, bag skates – this is what I knewI knew it was not working like I planned but I had nothing in my toolbox.Reward/punishment inflation
DISCLAIMER – my view (entire school does not feel exactly the same)Reward systems work – short term – they get people to do things they would normally not want to doWhen we use rewards – the focus shifts from the process to the reward (Deci and Ryan)REWARDS DO NOT TEACH – I tried the rewards thing. The only type of extrinsic reward that I encourage is meaningful praise (descriptive feedback) based on effort that is not used as a rewardGiving rewards is easy – forming relationships and providing feedback is much more difficult.Judy Cameron vsDeci and Ryan
Catching kids being good – look at me – surveillance – story of “Ashley”Kids will make sure they are caught being “good” and not caught being “bad”
Big Bang Theory, the Office
"By offering a reward, a principal signals to the agent that the task is undesirable” Daniel Pink Pay someone to do something for you pretty much ensures they will never do it again for free. – Dan PinkIn env where ext rewards are most salient, many ppl work only to the point that triggers the reward – and no further – Dan Pink
We expect students to do the right thing... Not for any reward but because it is the right thing. Set the bar with modeling.
The other side of the reward – negative extrinsic motivation – punishment. Based on control and fear.When a child struggles in reading, we support; When a child struggles with behaviour, we punish. By focusing on rewards and punishment, we rob students of developing responsibility.Parents still fear the principal because of the fear of punishment they had when they were in school.Previous principal: Restitution, relationships - Effect of different mindset – decrease in incidents, behaviour IEPs,
Every child is a good kid. They lack the skills and /or experience to make good choices.Wraparound, interests, patience, teach, collaborative problem solvingBE Patient – it could take years. Work together. We all need to be on the same page – and that page starts with the child.
Final thoughts – hope that you have reflected upon motivation, focusing on strengths, and teaching skills.Our school is doing this and experiencing more and more success. Our school culture is flourishing. I encourage you to take your reflective ideas back to your schools – jot down 1-2-3 things that you can do immediately. Share this with a learning partner so he/she can be part of the process.
Some books that I believe are must-reads.
Thank you so much for offering me the opportunity to share the story of Kent School.Please feel free to contact me at any time with feedback - both supportive and challenging.Create the conditions.
Motivating From Within - NAESP 2012
Motivating From Within A strength-based movementChris Wejr www.chriswejr.com @mrwejr
Today We Will Reflect Upon:1. MOTIVATION of students and staff2. Focusing on strengths vs deficits3. Feedback and Growth Mindset4. Moving from “Honour Roll” to “Honour ALL”5. Teaching vs rewarding/punishing Image: http://flic.kr/p/9ksxQa
“People use rewards expecting to gain the benefit of increasing another person’smotivation and behaviour, but in so doing, they often incure the unintentional andhidden cost of undermining that person’s intrinsic motivation toward the activity” -- Jonmarshall Reeve
“One who is interested in developing and enhancing intrinsic motivation in children, employees, students, etc., should not not concentrate on external-control systems such as monetary rewards.” -- Edward DeciImage: http://flic.kr/p/aagPZR
Doing theright thing...just becauseit is the right thing to do.
Students need teaching..... not punishment. Image: http://flic.kr/p/7fsxma
We live in a culture where many adults think ofonly one word, only one intervention, to dealwith kids who don’t meet adult expectations: consequences. -- Dr. Ross Greene Image: http://flic.kr/p/8bu8wo
"The school discipline program is not working for the kids who arent doing well and is not needed by the kids who are." -- Dr. Ross Greene
REFLECT What actions can we take to move away from rewards and punishment to a culture that builds responsibility in our students?Image: http://flic.kr/p/3xs2PE
Final Reflections• What can we do to build responsibility in staff and students by focusing more on intrinsic motivation?• How can move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset in our staff and students?• How can we place more emphasis on strengths of our staff and students?• How can we work to honour all our students more often?• How do we move toward teaching skills and away from rewarding and punishing?
“We cannot motivate others… we can only work to create the conditions for people to motivate themselves.” -- Deci and Ryan What are 2-3 things YOU can do IMMEDIATELY to create the conditions for staff and/or students?Image: http://flic.kr/p/8zWLAj
Must Reads for Parents/Educators Drive Mindset Punished by Lost at SchoolDaniel Pink Carol Dweck Rewards Dr. Ross Greene Alfie Kohn
Chris Wejr www.chriswejr.com @mrwejr firstname.lastname@example.org