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Motivation is the drive that pushes us to be better. But, it is something that many struggle to find and hold onto. In school, teachers are the awesome planners that create the environments, materials and plans that get students excited, curious and eager to learn new skills and knowledge.

But once the students are outside of school, are they able to manage, create and maintain their own motivation? How will they feel and what will they do if they are unable to regularly self-motivate?

Find out how to help your students, your children and YOU to find that motivation again and keep it for good by asking yourself  just 4 questions.

When did you first lose sight of your motivation?

I lost sight of mine after
a) Questioning my Self Worth
b) The Big Picture of my passion for teaching
 
Since graduation (at an undisclosed number of years ago), I’ve been fortunate to find rewarding jobs. However, as passionate and dedicated as I was, something was missing. This “something” reared its ugly head each time I get comfortable with my job. In the beginning, I am filled with endless energy and drive, But, slowly, the only thing pushing me to keep going were the kids. Everything else outside of me working directly with my students seemed awful. I would get in a slump where every day seemed to be endless dejavu.
 
As a result, I started to question my passion: Why am I unhappy with this job? Why am I dissatisfied? After all, this job seems to be all I wanted -work with kids, support them, and teach them. So why can’t I remain just as happy as I did starting this job? Is there something wrong with me?

It's Time for Some Cold, Hard Truth

Feeling helpless, confused and angry, I fell into a rabbit-hole of questioning from my career and life choices. But, there is always light in that black hole if we learn to look up;
 
That light for me was self-reflection. Reflecting on my feelings and flaws became a daily habit.
 
The 4 questions that helped me understand myself better and redefine my goals are:
  1. Who am I, flaws and all?
  2. What do I truly want and enjoy in life?
  3. What is my passion and why is it my passion?
  4. What are my goals to make that passion come true?

These questioned helped me realize that I had forgotten rest of my identity outside of work.

My tunnel vision of being a teacher in a classroom lead to a gross imbalance in my life, unaware that other things that spur my passion, creativity and happiness also stimulate my dedication, imagination and joy in my job.

These questions made me realize that the missing “something” was consistent self-motivation and an unwavering sense of self-worth.

I questioned myself in everything I did. I lost sight of the big picture of my passion by turning “teaching in a classroom” as one way of pursuing my passion to “teaching in a classroom” as the only way of pursuing my passion. Losing sight of my motivation and self-worth, lead to a roller coaster ride of depression, anxiety and indefinable fear. 

Starting Over doesn't always mean Starting from the Bottom. Sometimes it means You're Already at the Next Level.

So, I made goals to improve as a person and as a teacher. I reminded myself that working with kids in a certain way doesn’t mean closing myself from other avenues of reaching out to kids. Supporting kids outside of school can create more common ground between my students and I.
 
To be effective and efficient in teaching, I need to help and teach myself first. To do that, I need self reflect with complete and utter honesty. If you can not be honest with yourself, who will you be honest with?
 

To recap, this is how can YOU restart and keep your motivation?

  1. Who are YOU as a person? Be completely honest with your strengths, flaws and biases.
  2. What are you passionate about? What are your goals to make that passion come true? Be very specific
  3. Why are you so passionate about it? Keep narrowing down your passion and goals by asking why. 
  4. What are your prioritities in life and what brings you joy? How does that fit with your passion? 

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