As teachers, tutors, or parents, we have all come across that child who is very difficult to motivate. If you are anything like me, you probably spend many hours brainstorming ways to engage them in the learning process. When these attempts don’t work, we frequently blame ourselves, or worse still we blame the child. Despite all my training and experience in the field of dyslexia and learning differences, I know I can only be effective if the student is motivated to learn. Motivation is an essential ingredient!
As a tutor, I consider myself part of a team; a motivational team if you like. Most successful people recall a particular parent, teacher, relative, or friend, that believed in them and gave them the motivation to succeed; and a team increases the opportunities for this to occur. The other members of my team must include one or more parents, and of course the student with whom I work. For a classroom teacher, that team may include other specialists such as the special educational needs teacher, an educational psychologist, a guidance counselor and so on. For a homeschooling parent, the team may involve friends, family and community to help support the child. For learning to be most effective each team has to work well together.
Rick Lavoie’s book “The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child,” is the book I wish I had read while training to be a teacher in the UK, back in the stone age in 1983. After graduation I taught a class in a social priority school in London, and Rick’s book would have been a game-changer there as well! As it was, I finally discovered Rick Lavoie, about ten years ago, when I was introduced to his FAT City Workshop through an Orton-Gillingham training course.
To whet your appetites, I’ll share one of the gems from the book, where Rick illustrates how the language we use, including body language, can motivate or demotivate. It is about the use of ‘I’ messages, rather than ‘You’ messages. ‘You’ messages are confrontational: “You never help around the house,” or “You always misbehave when your Grandma comes over.” ‘I’ messages by contrast, convey your own feelings and opinions: “I really need your help cleaning the house,” or “I get embarrassed and it upsets me when you are rude to me in front of your Grandma.” That is one message ‘I’ can start working on now, as we read this book together.
On Friday January 5th 2018, The Orton-Gillingham Online Academy Book Club will start its study of “The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child.” Why not join us?
This will be an eight week journey to explore motivation, and which promises to be as relevant to ourselves as to the students we endeavor to reach. Rick’s book reveals strategies he has successfully used to ignite passion and curiosity in children.
You will need access to a copy of “The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out child” by Richard Lavoie. The 2007 copy is available as a hardback and in 2008 it was made available as a paperback. These can be sourced through many online booksellers. It is also available as a Kindle version and usually as a print or digital version through your local library.
Join us online at the OGOA Book Club by using this link:
More information about Rick Lavoie and his books, can be found at https://www.ricklavoie.com/gateindex.html
Lorna Wooldridge is a dyslexia specialist tutor with over twenty-five years of experience and qualifications in the field of learning differences, from both the UK and USA. Lorna has a unique perspective on this condition as she has dyslexia, and her passion is to serve this community in any way she can.