- I wish my students would quit asking 'is this for marks?'
- I can't get my students to do their homework
- Kids aren't motivated to do things like I wish they were. They seem to have a sense of entitlement. Like I owe them something to get them to do anything.
If your students are focused on grades, it may be for good reason. If you are grading, and that grade is going to 'count' for a lot, and it is likely to affect that student's life drastically, than aren't they right to focus on it? And aren't they focusing on it because the teacher is forcing them to focus on it? I have a solution. Stop grading and the students will stop being distracted by grading and actually focus on their learning.
If your students are bucking your homework, it may be for good reason. Research shows that there is absolutely no proof to suggest that there is any non-academic benefits to homework. Research also shows that there is no academic benefits to homework before high school. And even at the high school level, research has only shown a connection between higher grades and homework completion (note that higher grades and learning are not the same thing). And even then, any more than one hour of homework per night and the students experience the law of diminishing returns. In short, the problem with homework might be that you are assigning it.
If your students don't have a love for learning or don't seem to have an intrinsic motivation to do what you are asking them to do, then one of two things may be true. Firstly, what you are asking them may not be worthy of their intrinsic motivation. That worksheet or book report might actually be legitametly a waste of time. And secondly, if a student's motivation has been poisoned with enough extrinsic over a period of time, then their intrinsic motivation will have been eroded. Teachers and parents play a costly game when we use artificial bribes and threats in order to coerce students to comply with our requests.