Motivation Issues Afflict Students

189+students+responded+to+a+survey+about+their+stress+levels+and+their+motivation.+This+infographic+represents+students+responses+about+their+motivation.

Tatyana Seay

189 students responded to a survey about their stress levels and their motivation. This infographic represents students’ responses about their motivation.

Tatyana Seay, Staff Writer

Staring at a screen that’s completely blank outside of the blinking cursor, no work being done. The lack of motivation can freeze students. Oftentimes, teachers may think that students are working when honestly their minds are blank. No thoughts, no motivation to learn, just present. This can result in not even being able to focus or listen. A number of students and teachers report having lost so much of what used to keep them motivated.

For teachers, adapting back from hybrid learning and adapting to the new learners’ motivation can be challenging. Coach Cobb, Freshman Volleyball Coach and SSD teacher, explained, “I think with being virtual you kind of had to retrain yourself as a teacher, on your methods and how you instruct.”

While teachers no longer teach hybrid classes, the expectation is that in addition to in-class learning, teachers maintain Canvas so that any student who is quarantined has access to the lesson plans. The variety of needs that in-person students have differs from virtual, and students want individualized attention in both situations.

Students’ behavior has also changed. Junior Chauncey Woodfork explained, “Honestly, I don’t care as much. I mean I come and do work but I’m not motivated to be here like I used to be.”

Some students report losing focus and the ability to do their best. Some say the ability is there, but they struggle with the necessary policies, from masking to distancing. After independent learning, a lot of students come to school to socialize rather than to learn. Doing actual school work or even putting their phone down to pay attention is challenging because they went from doing everything on technology at their own pace to actually having to stop to learn at a teacher’s discretion.

“Asking the teachers questions to get a better understanding is one of the strategies I use. Having individual help is best for me to get a better understanding,” said Chauncey Woodfork. Students and teachers alike struggle to find the balance between individualized and group learning but Covid has given everyone the opportunity to learn how to navigate that balance.