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Why Work?

Laura asked this week:

Remind me, what are the five things that make it worthwhile to get up in the morning and go to work, no matter what the weather? (Aside from getting paid, of course.)

Now, this is a question that usually hits me when I am in that worst class of the semester. You know, every semester there is at least one class in which no effort of mine, no encouragement and no discipline in terms of grades ever motivates more than one or two students beyond the pathetic sitting there, not speaking unless prompted with a script in hand. About mid-semester, it starts being really hard to make myself go to class, put in effort appropriate to my position (instead of a much smaller effort appropriate to my learned expectations for the class). It’s really hard to teach well when you know most people are sitting there wishing they were at home in bed, or just anywhere else in the world, and when you know that the next time you meet them, the majority of them won’t remember anything of what you taught them and had them practice.

There’s no stage director to turn to, and ask, “What’s my motivation?” here. Instead, I have to make mine. Money is a very small motivation, believe me; it’s enough to get me to sign a new contract when necessary, but it’s not enough to get me through the long haul of those bad days. For those bad days, I need something more in my head. And here’s what I rely on:

If you want to see what other Friday Fivers use to motivate themselves to got to work, check out the Friday Five links in the right sidebar.

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