No matter how much experience we have, planning we do, or passion we pour into our students, they disappoint us miserably sometimes. Or the disappointment comes from our administrator, calling us out on something. We are miserable, literally miserable. The energy drains out like an unclogged sink and we suddenly feel dry and vulnerable. Our emotions range from rage with our students for lack of motivation to defeatism in ourselves…what’s the use. If you’re like me, that’s right about the time one my tweeps is singing about something amazing that his/her students are doing. In those moments, we can make the powerful choice to …grow.
We aren’t called to the positions in which we serve to outdo someone else; rather, we are where we are to do what we can. No one is the best with every aspect of teaching, and I would argue the most important quality is being able to motivate. Even then, no one can always motivate every student every time. We always have room to grow. And who is more motivating than someone who is growing.
Gamification is a big motivater for our students. Gamification can also motivate us. We can make a game out of seeing how quickly we can pull our students out of a slump, how much better we can make the situation, and dream about how we might plan learning to be more efficient next time. We can implement suggestions from a crabby boss and build them up by showing them the results. It’s our choice.
If we play almost any game long enough, we will be losing at some point. If we focus on new strategies, intermediate successes, and the ultimate goal of winning later, we can rally under the worst of situations. The only teacher who cannot do that is the one who says, “I don’t need to grow. My scores are high enough.” But that teacher is unlikely to be reading this like you are. Onward!