Some students are self motivated, some are not. Some can become more motivated with small classes and individual focus and attention. Some simply grow into caring more about academics and school, or at least the rewards that can come with a good education.
One way to motivate students is by taking them to visit the colleges that they might be attending a few years down the line. In her book “The Perfect Score Project”, SAT mother Debbie Stier says that if she could have done one thing differently for her son, it would have been to take him on his college tours sooner.
The college visits gave her son a tangible sense of what was at stake with the SAT and motivated him to do the hard work that was needed in order to test well.
High school students get so focused on … well…. high school. It is such an all-encompassing world for them. Getting outside of their “box” and getting a real sense of just what their bigger world may be in the next few years can be incredibly instructive and liberating.
College visits are not the only way to motivate students. Some will just grow into a stronger sense of what is going to be needed to succeed in the years ahead as they get older. Others can be motivated by a favorite teacher or class. Hopefully students who work with me on SAT prep will come away more motivated to perform well academically.
Still for some students, a concrete look at what their new world could be like just a year or two down the road will help bring into focus where they are headed and what they want. And that bigger awareness of who they could be can create the motivation for them to do what they need to do in order to make that possibility a reality.