The Ultimate Question
May 21, 2014
What motivates students? This frequently asked question has puzzled almost everyone working in the education field. For years, teachers have struggled to prompt future generations to care about college and careers, which has sparked controversy, but also many hopeful solutions.
Ever since I was in elementary school, I always dreamed of achieving greatness. I wanted to be a doctor or lawyer or veterinarian or magazine editor, I wanted to help others, I wanted to invent a cure for cancer, etc. Although my career choices have constantly changed and varied, one thing has remained the same: I want to attend college and earn a diploma. Education has been my priority, and with the support of my parents and teachers, I have been able to fulfill this. As a dedicated student, I push myself to earn better grades, understanding the impact it will have on my future.
Unfortunately, not many kids currently enrolled in school have a similar outlook on the future as I do. Not everyone feels the same way when it comes to college and career opportunities, which leaves me just as confused as teachers. Why wouldn’t students want to put in the extra effort to learn the material and earn ideal grades?
According to recent studies, motivation is affected by numerous factors inside and outside the classroom. However, inspiration primarily begins with “students’ experiences in family and community contexts, [which] are likely to have significant impact on their motivation for literacy and learning” (Curry University).
With this stated, I discovered that although I was personally motivated to perform well both in my academics and extracurricular activities, it was because of influential adult figures, such as my parents and past teachers.
My parents continuously read to my brother and I when we were just toddlers. As a result, I am an avid reader. I understand the significance of it.
These teenagers are not necessarily “lazy” or “unproductive,” but uninspired. It is the parents’ responsibility to teach children at an early age that education matters, and the teachers’ to reinforce this. Therefore, when teenagers grow into adults, they are able to carry and bequeath this knowledge to other generations to come. A combination of a lazy teacher and parent will have a negative influence on the students’s academic life. It all begins with an early commitment from parents, teachers, and students.
Samantha Verdisco is a member of the IB class of 2017. She is currently a junior. Besides writing for RHS Today, studying, and preparing her burdening...