Monday, April 6, 2015

Rick Lavoie on Motivating Children

Recently, the first annual Charles Chadwell Special Education Institute was held at Presbyterian College. The goal of the institute is to “promote understanding of individuals with disabilities and to help educators meet the needs of students with disabilities in the classroom.”

Rick Lavoie was the morning speaker and I was so excited because I remember watching his videos in the 80s for classes that I took. Now I show those videos to teachers in classes that I teach. Rick has written a book called The Motivation Breakthrough: Reaching and Teaching the Struggling Child. I haven’t read it yet, but I plan on it. Several people at the workshop had read it and said it was a great book.

Here are some quotes that I took away from the workshop. In future posts, I hope to discuss some of them in detail.
  1. “The day that a struggling suffering kid doesn’t affect you is the day you need to leave the field.
  2. It’s not about us. It’s about the kids.
  3. Need to make fundamental changes in ways we deal with kids. Agents of change may be the undergraduates.
  4. People don’t care about the history of special education. If you don’t remember your history, you are bound to repeat it.
  5. EMTs have more training with people in crisis than special educators do!
  6. People in crisis say and do inappropriate things. Take their behavior seriously but don’t take it personally.
  7. If anyone moves on the family’s “waterbed,” everyone is affected!
  8. We need more understanding on the families of children with special needs.
  9. Why do we nurture our faith? So when we get in trouble, we have something to fall back on. The same things work with our philosophy. Develop a strong philosophy on dealing with special needs so when things go wrong, you will have something to go to.
  10. At any point of time, any kid would rather be seen as bad rather than dumb.
  11. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Special educators see it as “the squeaky wheel needs the grease.” Why are we ignoring children if that is what the child needs?
  12. Need to make huge changes with how we are teaching kids. We aren’t paying attention.
  13. We keep doing the same things over and over again even though we know it doesn’t work!
  14. We are so reluctant to change.
  15. American Public schools are more reluctant to change than any other institution.
  16. Rick Stephens (with Boeing) said, “You are using a closed book format in an open book world.”
  17. Our job as teachers is not to teach them stuff but how to learn stuff, how to be lifelong learners.
  18. Brontosaurus – never existed.  = Apatosaurus
  19. Unlearn the old information – have skills to learn the new information – have skills to relearn the new information that comes down the pipe.  (example – telephone)
  20.  Motivate kids to be lifelong learners.
  21. This kids isn’t learning because he isn’t motivated. That’s your job to motivate him!
  22. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions on motivation.
  23. You will motivate a kid if you meet his needs.
  24. Everyone can have different motivational profiles. Yet, we teach a class and think we will motivate all of the students with one strategy. Sometimes we try to motivate the class by the things that motivate us, not the individual student.
  25. Adolescence is a 365-day a year 24 hour a day struggle to not be embarrassed. If I put the spotlight on him, then it keeps the spotlight on me. Now they have tools to wreck someone’s life.
  26. Things that motivate you now as an adult were the same things that motivated you as a 6 year old. 
  27. Mercy is the true nature of power.
  28. The more you need to remind someone that you have the power diminishes your actual power.”
Do any of these statements resonate with you? Which one(s) and why? Please share.


Clix said...

"American Public schools are more reluctant to change than any other institution." Really? More reluctant than ANY other institution? Was there any kind of citation for that? This sends my BS-o-meter off the charts.

Pat Hensley said...

@Clix There were several comments that I didn't agree with! Check out tomorrow's post for example. :)