From a Thought to a Lesson in 3 Hours

It’s true, I’ve had my guitar in my living room, gathering dust, for about 6 months. I wanted to learn but didn’t want to make time for it or to prioritize it.  Watching bad Netflix shows, cleaning, or surfing 300 feet of social media content was waaaaay more important.

Being able to get from thinking about a guitar lesson, to having the guitar lesson in under three hours really surprised me.  I couldn’t believe at how simple it was and how satisfying it would make me feel.  More importantly, it made me think about the barriers that we put up in class that prevent students from taking action when they’re motivated to learn. We talk a lot about motivating students in the time that we have designated for learning i.e., in the classroom, but rarely do we talk about tapping into students’ own moments of motivation.

I like to make the majority of my content and assessments accessible on the first day of class.  This way, students can access the content when it makes sense for them as well as their schedules and priorities. But what else can I do to help students shift from feeling motivated to taking action?  This is what I have to figure out for next term.

Below I’ve shared some additional context regarding engagement from a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) perspective as well as additional information about Mel Robbins, the motivational speaker I referenced in my video.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL):

Providing learning content in advance of when it is required helps to engage students and to tap in students’ motivation.  Checkpoint 7.1. Optimize individual choice and autonomy talks about the importance of choice and autonomy.  From my perspective, giving students the opportunity to interact with course content when it makes sense for them, contributes to students’ autonomy and helps them to learn self-regualation.

Mel Robbins, motivational speaker, with arms spread open
Book cover image from Kick Ass with Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins:

  • Originator of the 5 Second Rule (She is not related to Tony Robbins)
  • I refer to Mel’s rule in the video.
  • She talks about moving as quickly as possible between thoughts and action.
  • Check out her Ted Talk: How to stop screwing yourself over
    • 20 min, 17 Million viewers.
  • If you like that, she also has two books out including 5 Second Rule

What I like most about Mel’s rule is that it the inherent blast off moment.  She talks about this in her book.  Once you’ve counted down, you gotta do something before you mind steps in and casts doubt or provides rationale for not taking action.

Are you stalling on something? What do you do change thought into action?

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