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The Educator Motivator

Go for Your Teaching Goals




Here's a question: Do you know how advertisers get us to buy things? Is it by creating desire for a product? Is it by creating fear of not having it? Youre right on both counts, but a more subtle strategy -- and one that seems to be more effective as well -- is to constantly overexpose us to their message. In advertising terms, they call those exposures impressions. There's usually a direct correlation between the number of public impressions and the number of sales made. If you don't believe me, ask any advertising salesperson.

Given that fact, I want you to try something that I believe will raise your motivation level and have a huge impact on your attitude in the classroom. This month, I want you to persuade yourself to buy what you (not the advertisers) are selling by overexposing yourself to your own commercial. And what are you trying to sell to yourself? Your teaching goals!

Study after study validates that success and goal setting are intricately linked. Assuming you already have written goals (shame on you if you don't), I want you to pick the most important one and write it on at least a dozen index cards. Be realistic (no 'make my principal disappear' goal), be specific, and make it measurable. Think in terms of outcomes you'd like to produce; connections you'd like to make with certain students or parents; projects you'd like to start or work on; or things you'd like to improve at your school.

Next, I want you to strategically place the index cards in places where you can easily see and read them -- on the bathroom mirror, in your day planner, on your computer, on your car dashboard, on your laptop, on your desk, in a book you're reading, on the television set, on the refrigerator.

The key here is to keep those goal cards on display for a full month. That kind of advertising would be a company's dream and would literally cost thousands and thousands of dollars. But because you're selling to yourself, this time the strategy will help you buy into your own dream instead of someone elses -- and it's free.

So, on your mark, get set, go for your goals!


About the Author

Professor Joe Martin is an award-winning educator, trainer, and author of several books, including Good Teachers Never Quit, When Students Just Won’t Listen, and Tricks of the Grade. Regarded as “America’s Top Educator Motivator," he speaks, trains, and consults with more than 50 school districts a year in the area of teacher retention and student motivation/behavior issues.