Motivating Students to Finish Goals
Some students need more motivation to work than others. Supervisors and monitors need to understand how to spur a desire in each student to complete his goals every day. The key is to identify the reasons for incomplete goals. Once this is uncovered, the problems and issues of life can be addressed in a positive manner. Each educator should seek ways to encourage students to thrive and push for greater and more challenging goals.
Finding out why a student is not accomplishing goals takes discernment on the behalf of the educator. Procedures Manual I (P. 91) poses the following question regarding incomplete goals: “Was it due to carelessness, daydreaming, inability to understand a concept, or having set goals too high?”
Our individual nature may mean a different solution or approach is needed for each student. A.C.E.’s individualized approach allows creative ways to handle each situation. Consider the following reasons that a student might find difficulties in setting and completing goals.
1. Lack of Motivation
Without an incentive to work hard, many adults would fail to give their all for a task. Finding satisfaction in tasks done, earning a means to care for family, or serving the Lord can give a sense of accomplishment. Many students have the ability to complete their goals but do not want to put forth the required effort. Finding ways to get them interested in their work can bring them great satisfaction.
Procedures Manual I (P. 91) provides the following suggestions: “If the student knows what to do, ‘get tough’ in a nice way. Require him to set adequate goals and then finish his work. Encourage or challenge him to do his best. Require him to complete one goal before the next break or lunch. If the student is required to learn with thoroughness and consistency, he will learn self-discipline and will build confidence and responsibility, which will affect his potential and his eternal rewards. Building lives and Godly character is the school’s greatest responsibility.”
Another scenario for large quantities of homework could include attempts to circumvent the system. Procedures Manual I suggests, “Sometimes a student learns he can get help (or use a calculator) at home, and so he wastes time in school. To break the cycle, it may be necessary to have him stay after school until his work is completed.”
Also consider the possibility that distractions, home problems, or fatigue could be hindering the student’s motivation. The student could be defeated and discouraged after repeatedly not meeting goals. A word of encouragement or small incentives could spur confidence that these daily tasks can be accomplished. Once a student experiences success, he will be motivated to achieve.
2. Challenging the Challenged
It seems that with each passing day, a new “condition” is diagnosed to categorize students who may not be classified as “average.” While true learning disabilities are not to be taken lightly, the student should not be made to think that he cannot overcome certain limitations. At a previous A.C.E. Christian Educators’ Convention, it was stated that “sometimes when we begin to study learning limitations, we make the mistake of believing that the child who has a disorder will be impaired for life.” Nelson Rockefeller, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison were all diagnosed with dyslexia. Helen Keller was both blind and deaf. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt contracted polio and was paralyzed from the waist down. While their limitations may have hindered them in some areas, they excelled in others and overcame their difficulties. Your students are no different. If you have a student with a true diagnosed disability, find out as much as you can about his condition. Look for activities and techniques to help the student overcome any challenges. This could include word games, puzzles, computer programs, or physical activities. Seek the Lord’s guidance to help this student achieve his studies. Let each student excel as far as he can. As one popular
3. Resisting the Status Quo
Another category of students may not seem as obvious but needs equal attention—those who seek the status quo. These students seek to put forth as little effort as possible to complete goals. They set small goals or load up on pages in easy subjects so they do not have homework very often. In doing this, they could be hurting their academic career as they fall behind in their academic projection. These students, especially high school students, need to be urged to set more aggressive goals that will be balanced and challenging but within their capabilities. This could include granting extra privileges for increasing the number of completed PACEs in a quarter or spot-checking their Goal Cards to help them adjust the appropriate number of pages in a subject.
4. Motivating the Motivated
An additional category of students that may seem puzzling includes motivated students. They want to take as many courses as possible, squeeze in every last elective, and graduate a year early. While these may be noble goals, these students can become overburdened with homework. As course material becomes more difficult, these students may find that they are not completing as many PACEs in a year. To compensate, they set aggressive goals that tie them down with a lot of homework. They cut out sports and extracurricular activities to meet their ambitions.
These eager students may need to have their goals adjusted to meet a more manageable path to graduation. Embrace their enthusiasm, but help them make their goals reachable. Encourage them to meet certain goals and allow an extra course to do when goals are accomplished at school.
Remember that each student is an individual. While no two approaches may work the same, by using the individualized nature of A.C.E.’s program, you can help students regularly complete their goals.