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Ever wish your students were more motivated? If you’re like most of us, you have tried an array of rewards and punishments to motivate kids. There’s only one problem: it doesn’t work. At least it doesn't work well enough. People (yes, even students) aren’t motivated from the outside so rewards and punishments only work to a point. We are internally motivated. That’s why it's essential to engage and inspire students to be motivated to succeed in school (and life.)

If you’re ready to move beyond the reward/punishment model and embrace a whole new way to understand motivation, I encourage you to come back regularly. It’s time to challenge the status quo and create schools and classrooms based on what really motivates behavior.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

If A Child Doesn't Know How: The Role Of An Educator

“If a child doesn’t know how to read, we teach.”

“If a child doesn’t know how to swim, we teach.”

“If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach.”

“If a child doesn’t know how to drive, we teach.”

“If a child doesn’t know how to behave, we... teach? …punish?”

Why can’t we finish the last sentence as automatically as
we do the others?

Tom Herner, 1998.

This quotation was posted my friend and colleague Sylvia Habel, President of The William Glasser Institute, Australia. She got it from one of her master’s students. The author, Tom Herner, is the former president of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDE).

I decided to share it because it so eloquently captures the primary role of an educator: to teach. Whether we’re talking about reading, swimming, multiplying, driving a car, or yes….behaving appropriately, our role is to teach.

Thanks to Tom Herner for these words, and to Slyvia and her student for bringing this to my attention. 

As always, if you enjoyed this and found it useful, please send the link to your friends. Thanks.

Bob Sullo
PO Box 1336
Sandwich, MA 02563

For information about books by Bob Sullo and to schedule a keynote, workshop, or series for your school, agency, or parent group visit

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