Our first ever guest blogger is the creator of our hugely popular PD course on Behaviour Management, Bob Brandis. Bob runs a website reliefteaching.com. He has extensive experience is dealing with student behaviour and runs several support programs through the site that assists all teachers in supporting behaviour management in the classroom. Membership to this website is free.

Motivation is self-sustaining. It is the internal power that generates its own energy.


How did you feel when you received your first smart phone? I bet the internal combustion of the motivation engine was pumping away. Why? Because you saw yourself as a successful smart phone user.

Fred needs to see himself as a successful adder of fractions.

The self-belief that comes with positive feedback about performance will make a qualifying difference to Fred’s motivation.

Your positive feedback is now based on irrefutable evidence. You can see it and Fred can see it.

It is the black and white of performance indicators that is being highlighted.

Fred is now inspired.

Comments like, “Fred that is a well-constructed sentence. Your use of descriptive adjectives is powerful. I am looking forward to reading your completed story.”

And again, “Fred, you have some great research about the planet Neptune. I like how you included the history of its discovery. Your completed project is going to be very interesting to read.”

There are specific elements to this type of feedback?

Feedback about performance must:

  • Highlight clear, unambiguous evidence of success.
  • Explain performance indicators of what makes the evidence.
  • Put this success in the context of the whole.

Giving this type of feedback is likely to inspire Fred into further action.

True motivation doesn’t come about because of a fear of the consequences. It is about being inspired to succeed.

The positive feedback is performance based and honest.

For unmotivated kids, focus on the LEARNING, not the behaviour.

It has to be all about the learning if you ever want to provide motivation for the unmotivated.

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