The student's responses amazed us both. One student said they didn't care how they did because their friends were dumb and they wanted to do bad so they could be with their friends. Another student said if they did bad they would be put in a lower group and have less work to do.
This is sad! What happened to the days where a good grade made a kid feel good about themselves? When did the self-motivation leave and the notion that what you do is good enough enter?
I deal with this daily. I have one student in my after school program that is an A/B student. The child will throw a math book on the table next to me and say, "I don't know how to do this, you need to help me." When I ask if the student has reviewed the material I get rolled eyes. I start by reading the question out loud and then ask the student how they think the problem should be solved. More eye rolling. I then explain how the examples were solved. At this point I either get more eye rolling, the child leaves the table in a huff, or the child makes a minimal attempt to answer my questions. The student has told me more than once that it would just be easier if I just say the answer. ABSOLUTELY NOT!
I am a teacher. I guide a student to find the answer. I do not "give" the answer. I will not participate in a child's instant gratification. I do not believe this fosters self-motivation. I am constantly learning and I work hard to gain new knowledge. I expect the same from my students. I expect them to participate in their own learning. When they realize they are able to learn, when that light bulb goes off in their minds, it is that point that they become motivated to learn more. When they know they "can" accomplish something they will be more motivated to continue learning.