Last week, the most popular post at this blog was Here’s A Great Motivating Question For Students To Consider…. In it, I shared a recent Harvard Business Review article suggesting that people ask themselves the question:
Who else (apart from myself) is going to benefit from what I am doing?
Since that post, I’ve had a few good individual conversations with students about this question, but haven’t done anything class-wide with it.
Then, today, I saw another HBR article. This one is headlined To Motivate Employees, Show Them How They’re Helping Customers. Like many HBR articles, it’s easy to switch out the word “employer” and replace it with “teacher” and do the same with “customer” and “student.”
In it, the researcher talks about the importance of helping employers see how their work directly benefits their customers:
Obviously, students in class can see those connections directly, whether it’s acting as a model or in other ways (see The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates — Help Me Find More).
However, it did get thinking about how to take it a step further: Perhaps I should do a quick classwide discussion of that “Great Motivating Question,” get students to brainstorm ways what they do could benefit their classmates and, then, a week later, have everyone try to think of at least one way each student has helped them in some way (even if it was not directly and more as a model or inspiration). A danger, of course, is that some students could get overlooked. However, I figure I can handle that by asking one or two class “stars” to make sure they come up with something for everyone.
I’m sure other teachers had done this kind of acknowledgment “circle” before. If you have, I’d love to hear how you did it.