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Building relationships to motivate students

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Duration: 2:44

Dave Gillies, Assistant Principal, shares approaches Rāroa Intermediate Normal School have used to get to know their learners. Understanding learners and connecting with their family helps teachers find ways to motivate their students.

Audio Visual description

Title slide: Building relationships to motivate students

enabling e-Learning

Filmed at Rāroa Intermediate Normal School

Dave Gillies, Assistant Principal
I think as a teacher in any environment, in any classroom environment, we always encounter students who aren't always and motivated to do, you know, what we expect of them and they access the curriculum differently from other people. And so we as teachers need to find ways to enable them to do that and to motivate them.
Dave speaking to the camera.
Here at Rāroa Intermediate we're given creative flexibility in how we design our curriculum. 

Sign outside school "Rāroa Intermediate Normal School".

Four staff meeting around table.

We can design the activities and things they engage in to suit their specific needs. And so it's really important when you're thinking about this that we need to start at the building relationships stage.  Student scootering.
So what we try and do is we get to know our learners at the start of the year, as any good teacher does. And we find out about them and we find ways to activate that motivation, that engagement. And Daniel Pink, says that motivation is influenced by three factors. Students skateboarding.
That's purpose, autonomy, and mastery. And just to break those down a little bit.  Dave speaking to the camera.
Purpose. Everybody wants to know what they're doing has a reason. In terms of autonomy, everybody wants to have a little bit of control over what they do and they want to have say. In terms of the third aspect, mastery is the pursuit of excellence.  Three words each shown in a seperate circle: purpose, autonomy, and mastery.
The practice of day to day repetition, you know going over things, constantly trying to improve.  Dave speaking to the camera.
So those are the three components of motivation that we try and tap into, Three words each shown in overlapping circles: purpose, autonomy, and mastery.
in terms of the way we design our curriculum  Dave speaking to the camera.
and the way we pitch it towards those students who are classically regarded as on the fence, you know,  Students working in the classroom.
not not quite engaged and not as motivated as as they ought to be.  Skateboard deck project displaying text "mental illness is not a personal failure".
And so yes we start with relationships, we learn about who they are and how we can apply that and their learning. Dave speaking to the camera.
In order to build relationships you've got to think holistically, you've got to think about the whānau as well. Student with art work.
And you've got to think about all of the individuals who influence who that learner is. And so it's really important that you connect not only with the student, that you connect with family. What we tend to do as teachers is we find out as much as we can about the about the child and their family and we reach out.  Dave speaking to the camera.
We ring every family or every caregiver in our classroom space in the first three weeks of school.  Dave, student, and parent looking at laptop together.
We learn quite a lot about who that child is and probably a little bit more than we would have if we had just talked to them face to face in those first few weeks as well. And so we have this package of understanding that we can take and that kind of helps us to design our program to suit the needs of those learners. Dave speaking to the camera.

Tags: Primary, Upper primary, Cross-curricular, Technology, Student inquiry, Learning design, STEM/STEAM, Integrated curriculum