INTASC Standard #5

Classroom Motivation and Management Skills

The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

[Headings for INTASC standards are taken from - Campbell, D.M. et al.  (1997).  How to develop a professional portfolio:  A manual for teachers.  Boston: Allyn and Bacon.]

In order to foster a positive learning environment, the teacher must make the students interested in learning. They don't even necessarily have to love the content (because not all students will), but in order to learn they must at least be active in participating and wanting to pay attention. Thus, it is the teacher's great responsibility to motivate the students to learn. This doesn't necessarily mean the teacher must entertain his or her class, but he must genuinely have their interest and attention so that they can learn, interact with other students, and become self-motivated.

For me, this may take many forms, but some common methods include, first, simply convincing the students that I love what I am teaching and that I believe it to be important. If I don't even care about the content (or even if it only comes across that way), then the students surely won't either. Second, I have to keep in mind the personalities and tendencies of those who I will be teaching. I might be able to give a 20-minute lecture on Beethoven to high-schoolers, but that would never work with third graders. Finally, it is crucial that I keep in mind the student-to-student relationships that exist and use those to enhance learning, not to be detractors from learning. Separating trouble-making best friends might be necessary to maintain order in my classroom, but otherwise students who get along with each other well will learn well also.

The following artifacts are just two demonstration of how I have learned classroom motivation and management skills. The first, a reading log that was written about a Teaching Music article, shows my understanding (and intended future application) of classroom management skills. The journal article from another class, however, discusses class motivation skills, and how I might be able to encourage and motivate my students.

Reading Log 9 from MusEd 100

Journal Entry (Chapter 4) from MusEd 351

Symphonic Band rehearsal during Student Teaching

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