When looking at teacher motivation, the principles are exactly the same as student motivation. There is no one thing that you can do to increase your motivation; but every principle that you understand and implement makes a difference.
One of the principles of motivation that is often overlooked or misunderstood by teachers is their personality. Every teacher is a unique mix of personality traits. We all have our own style, past experiences and passions yet when we stand up in front of a class we generally all teach the same way.
To help you discover your personality have a look at the simple test below. You will generally prefer either the option on the right or left.
Minimise risk Gain advantage
Look for the familiar Look for new and untried
Find patterns Find discrepancies
Make decisions by yourself Make decisions together with others
Have enough information Have as much information as possible
How this works.
I prefer to look for the new and untried. So teaching for me has the tendency to become a little boring. Once I have my routine set, my classes are organised I start to lose motivation for the simple fact that things are becoming too familiar. So for me to remain motivated I need to look for ways to mix things up. That is why I am involved in teacher training. It gives me the opportunity to always be in new environments.
The opposite can also be true. If you prefer the familiar and your teaching role keeps changing or your students are unpredictable in their behaviour you will start to lack motivation.
Now you need to be aware of how your personality affects your classroom. If you have a student who is extreme look for the familiar and you are extreme look for the new you will have a personality conflict and your student will lack motivation in your classroom.
I don’t suggest you set your classroom up based on the predominant personalities in the room as at the end of the day it’s your career, but if you are having consistent conflict with a student this might be one of the possible causes.
In the next post we will look at another set of personality traits.