Friday, July 24, 2009

Intrinsically geeky

Hello, my name is Lisa and I'm a geek.

I just started my new class for grad school. (Check out the book I'm reading for it in my sidebar. The title alone should give you a hint as to how exciting the class actually is.) The day before class was to begin I went to Staples to buy a new binder and notebook. I actually got excited about my new binder. It's got fun polka dots all over it and my notebook coordinates nicely. I got home and packed my school bag, making sure I had pens and pencils, post its, highlighters and my new binder and notebook.

Driving to class I was even more excited....see, I LOVE being in school. I love the whole act of sitting in a classroom; listening to a professor, reading professional texts, having discussions with classmates.....I love the whole process. I even like homework. Oh sure, I'll grumble about it, but secretly, I don't so much mind. I am the kind of student that throws herself into her work. It comes from not being "book" smart. Growing up, I had to work hard for my good grades. I learned quickly that I had to study for tests, I had to highlight in my books and I had to take careful notes in class. That's how I work and, lucky for me, I began enjoying all of those things.

As a teacher, I often see kids who are intrinsically motivated to learn. They are the kids that try hard all the time. They get their work done and do extra. They hand in their homework fully completed every day. They never slack off. And then there are the others. The ones who try, sometimes. The ones who maybe have a favorite subject that they work hard in but then they slack off in the other subjects. The students who, no matter how hard you try to reach them, just won't push themselves. The students who are not intrinsically motivated to DO their best. BE their best.

Now that I'm a parent, I wonder more and more often what those parents of those intrinsically motivated kids do. How do parents get their children to love school? To work hard? I also wonder what kind of student Aliza will be. With two teachers as parents the poor girl doesn't have much choice I suppose....I hope that someday, Aliza will be just as excited about going to class as I am now. That she loves learning as much as I do. I hope that she truly is that which I strive to help all of my students to be: a lifelong learner.


Keetha said...

How fun! I'm so happy for you and your new notebook. Shopping for school supplies never loses its thrill.

Like you, I love school!

Nonna said...

She 's on the right track already.
She loves to read books(or,rather being read to.)Loves to turn the pages & even looks @ you when you don't do it exactly the same.She is soooooo inquisitive .Keep it up.A love of reading is the gate to all other learning.

JaxMom said...

Lisa -

I have SO had those same thoughts. I had to work hard for my grades, and loved the processes I would develop to study depending on the type of class it was, and also studying the professor to see what he/she really wanted.

I want to instill the love of learning and pride of work in Jackson. His dad often has the "good enough" attitude, and I am so afraid he has or will inherit it. We read every night, and I try to compliment a job well done, but in the end, how do you know? Enjoy your polka dots! (I got the small polka dot note book to track my medicalexpenses at Staples.)

Helena said...

Yeah, I wonder what kind of student Alexis will be too, and what can I do to help her enjoy learning...I'm worried though...whenever I read my textbook in front of her while she plays, she gets mad, rips it out of my hands and throws it on the floor and says "no, mommy, no book, time to play with alexis". It's so cute and I feel bad that she feels like I'm not paying attention to her, but I do want her to see me reading too, you know? I've tried reading my textbooks to her, but without pictures, she just doesn't seem interested. :)