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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.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dr. Glasser!

Dr. William Glasser celebrates his 88th birthday on May 11. One of the most prominent figures in psychology, Dr. Glasser has contributed tremendously to the fields of both mental health and education. His work has been the single greatest factor in my professional growth and development since I began my Choice Theory journey more than 25 years ago.

It is often said that timing is everything. The timing could not have been better for me when I enrolled in my Basic Intensive Training in 1986. I had been a psychologist for a few years and had grown frustrated with external control psychology. Sometimes it seemed to work. Other times….not so well. Plus, it didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to “shape” kids. I didn’t believe my life could be reduced to a series of reactions to external forces. I was looking for another way – a better, more accurate way – to understand behavior and motivation.

Control Theory: A New Explanation of How We Control Our Lives was new. The Institute for Reality Therapy was growing rapidly. And I was fortunate enough to begin my training with three gifted instructors who remain closely associated with the WGI today: Al Katz, Nancy Buck, and David Moran. With their expert guidance and a newly articulated theory of behavior and motivation, I was off and running.

I never looked back.

My association with the WGI and Dr. Glasser’s ideas have brought me into contact with people and places I had never imagined. I have formed lasting friendships and professional relationships that were nurtured by the WGI and Choice Theory. As I have deepened my knowledge and explored Choice Theory through teaching and writing, Dr. Glasser’s support remains unwavering.

To put it as succinctly as possible, I am a better professional as well as a better husband, father, brother, and friend because of what I have learned from Dr. Glasser and Choice Theory.

As he celebrates his 88th birthday, I want to say “Thank You” to Dr. Glasser for all he has done for the fields of mental health and education and for all he has meant to me.

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