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We finished our second day of school yesterday. I’m sure it will be a great year, though even now it’s clear that in some cases I’ll be needing all my skills and knowledge on student motivation.

Even though I’ve written three books and a lot more of the subject (see Best Posts On “Motivating” Students),  I was motivated to develop my individual student motivation plans this morning by reading two excellent articles on the topic that came out this morning.

The first appeared in The Harvard Business Review.  It’s headlined How To Motivate Frontline Employees and, with just a little work, their recommended strategies can be easily transferred to the classroom. I’d also say their recommendations won’t be new to anyone familiar with what I’ve previously shared, but it’s definitely a good refresher course.

Here’s an excerpt:

Here are just a few of their suggestions, along with specific links to what I think are “Best” lists that can correspond to the classroom:

Incorporate a spirit of play by encouraging experimentation (see The Best Resources For Applying “Fed Ex Days” (Also Known As Genius Hours) To Schools)

Create a sense of purpose around the customer (see The Best Resources On Students Having A “Purpose For Learning”)

Systematically manage apprenticeship (see The Best Resources On Providing Scaffolds To Students and The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates — Help Me Find More)


Which Is Better, Rewards or Punishments? Neither is the headline of The New York Times article.

It’s geared towards parents but, again, the recommendations can easily be applied by teachers, too.

The article shares several excellent examples of language to use when talking with kids. Here’s an example:

Again, it’s nothing new to people who have read resources I’ve shared previously, but it’s a great refresher. The “Instead of Saying/Say” contrasts are particularly good.


Both articles have excellent links to research, as well.

In addition to adding this post to my “Motivating” Best list, I’m also adding it to:

The Best Posts, Articles & Videos Explaining Why Punishment Is Often Not The Best Classroom Strategy

Best Posts On Classroom Management