I’ve often written about the work of Teresa Amabile, who’s research developed “The Progress Principle.”

Basically, she found that small wins each day are the key ingredient in people’s sense of well-being.

It ties in nicely with one of the four key elements needed to create the conditions to support student intrinsic motivation – competence.  In other words, students feeling like they can be successful in the work they are being asked to do.

The New York Times has just published a short article on Dr. Amabile’s work, The Power of Low-Stakes Productivity.

We teachers might want to keep this in mind as we enter this new and crazy school year – build lots of small student “wins” into our live and on-demand lessons, and don’t forget to celebrate them!

At the same time, let’s not forget to look for our own small successes, too!