Sunday, April 6, 2008

A motivational tool off the top of my head

I'm going to go to school tomorrow with my hair looking like this. I cut it this weekend for a theme party with the idea that I could simply lop off the rest before Monday. At the party were several teachers, all of whom asked the same questions:

"Your administration is okay with that!?"
"You've been going to school like that!?"
"What do your students think!?"

After the party, I got to thinking about how it would be pretty shocking to walk in like this on Monday. The last few weeks of school have been especially trying--motivation approaching the big test is waning instead of increasing. I feel stuck in a rut and so do many of my students. What better way to inject some much needed excitement and energy back into class than a stunt like this?

I've decided to make this a motivational experiment. "I want so badly for you to do well that I'm willing to keep this ridiculous thing on my head until the test," I'll tell my students. "All I ask is that everyone puts in their best effort every day. If I'm not satisfied with your effort, I'll just cut it off." It's silly and simple, which is exactly why it will work.

As far as the administration goes, as long as I tell them that I'm using this to get kids to do better on the test, they'll not only condone it, but probably encourage it! After all, we must get test scores up by any means necessary!

See what happened:
Week 2
Week 3
Reflections on a Mohawk