This blog has gained many new readers over the past year. Because of that, I thought it might be worth sharing a daily “A Look Back” where I share a best post from the past twelve years. You can also see all of my choices for “Best” posts here.

This post appeared in September, 2018.


I’m always searching for, and trying, new classroom management and student motivation ideas – you never know which one will work with which student. I’ve got plenty cataloged in  Best Posts On Classroom Management and in Best Posts On “Motivating” Students (as well as in my books).

In fact, show me a teacher who doesn’t need as many classroom management and student motivation strategies in his or her pocket as he or she can get, and I’ll show you a teacher who has a terminal case of cluelessness….

I’ve been trying out a new one this school year.  At least, it’s new to me.

Over the summer, I read an interesting Quartz article about a new study titled Psychologists have surprising advice for people who feel unmotivated.

Basically, the research found that people facing challenges were more motivated to deal with them effectively if you asked them to share what advice they would offer someone in a similar situation.

As the article says:


So, sometimes this year I’ve been asking students who, for example, having been coming late to class, or who haven’t followed through on completing their work, what advice they might give to a younger student who they were mentoring or to a future child of their own who was having a similar issue.

Both immediate, and follow-through, responses have been pretty positive (except for when I tried it today, when it didn’t work at all, but no strategy will work all the time).

It’s not a “cure-all,” but it’s one more idea worth trying….