No Red Pill No Blue Pill

Spring.

I am cold within. Frost bitten.  A racing mind, seeking answers, bridges which I may tread upon. To no avail. The ones I put my foot on are  too shaky and stilted for my liking. My desire insists on stronger, more permanent bridges. Passages of learning need to be safe, silent, secure.

My inheritance this semester are students who have little or no digital skills. Nor do they wish to acquire them. Hence this inner bare landscape, withering away in a fractual of questions I seek light and possible solutions.

How?

Where?

it

I wish I could say that learning is a delightful, warm, easy, fuzzy experience. Soft as the finest of wools, simple to weave meaning, silky and smooth when putting into practice.

Reality, however, is different.

Learning is hard work. There are no red pills. There are no blue pills. (“You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” The Matrix)

Learning may be social, but in the end it is individual.

The learning process is social – one learns with and from others, whether from the past or present. When social learning is discussed, the focus is on the “how” one learns. Learning, assimilating skills and information is left to the individual.

And this requires a total shift in values and perceptions which is equally challenging.

Learning involves the 8 points highlighted in the above poster. One may substitute passion for motivation – yet motivation too is individual. No matter how a teacher tries, if a learner is not motivated to learn, there will be little progress. There are rivers of ink on motivation. I too commit the fallacy of believing that there are right tools and approaches to inspire motivation. However, it is the inspiration and not the motivation that an educator may trigger among learners. Besides, as many educators understand, it is more comfortable and easier to blame a teacher for lack of motivation rather than take responsibility for one’s learning process.

Accountability is a strong word. Shareski (webinar on 23.January.2013) discussed the differences between being accountable and responsible in regard to educators sharing work online. This discussion is equally relevant when it comes to learning – are students to be accountable? Should they be responsible?

Despite my belief in learning how to become an autonomous learner, these are no simple questions in many societies where group values are embedded in learners’ behaviour. Once students enter higher education, they are expected (and demanded) to be autonomous learners and be responsible for the first time in their lives.

Learning hurts.

Knowing how to participate, knowing how to be and what the expectations are in a certain context (e.g. higher education), is like learning about a place, a different landscape, a different culture. For students, this transition from analogue, rote learning to a landscape where digital learning is required, is painful. Resistance to change is easier than change itself.

Immersion into digital learning and acquiring digital literacy skills takes time – and a degree of willingness.

I would also dare add the lack of fear, for change is scary. Unknown landscapes are bewildering, at times, on the border of threatening.

Understanding these factors does not actually help me with bridges. Not immediately.

What can an educator do?

Explore, engage, explain.

Connections do happen.

My recipe? Stories. Learners elaborate on their own framework of knowledge and as a teacher, I have data to evaluate, to contribute to students’ assessment.

More than routine assessment (something teachers and students cannot ignore), learners gain confidence – in themselves, in their own world knowledge, in learning how to use digital spaces for learning.

Red pills. Blue pills.

Only the self can walk through the door of learning.

Until then, I linger in frost, waiting for the blooms of Spring.

Connections do happen.

References:

Best Digital Story – Examples and Resources

Shareski, D., 2013, Social Media and Open Education, a webinar on 23 January, 2013

What Is College Readiness? – An Infographic

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26 thoughts on “No Red Pill No Blue Pill

  1. I have to say, I was there the last two semesters. Lost in the wilderness with unmotivated, unlearning students. I seriously questioned my role, my job, my life. But I knew this wouldn’t last forever. I have a couple of classes this semester that actually care and do what I ask them to. I enjoy teaching again! It is true you get what you put in, but I know I tried my hardest and got absolutely nothing in return. Those students shouldn’t have been here in the first place. I now have students who at least want to be here and are trying to stay here. I can work with that, I can enjoy that, I can let them enjoy it too! There will always be those on the fringe that squeaked in and don’t do what I ask, or can’t. Yes, I said it, they can’t. What system says that all students should/must attend a program at a bachelors level. One of my colleagues actually told a student about ADVETI (a technical college down the road) because we all know she isn’t bachelor material. I am questioning motivation. Is it motivation or just plain lack of mental ability? We may never know.

  2. Good Morning! Thank you for taking time to read, understand and add your views. Stating that some students do not have the ability to learn, grasp concepts at higher education, requires blunt courage; in my mind, I don’t agree with the mantra that everyone needs to take a degree to succeed in life. Individuals have different skills which need to be tapped into and given the the opportunity to develop. This “requirement”, bordering a demand, to take a university degree seems to be causing more grief than solutions.

    On the other hand, motivation – again, a personal opinion – is physiological, hence individual. Educators have the responsibility to cater to their students’ favourite learning styles (if/when possible), educators have the responsibility to endeavour that inspiration and motivation for learning is fostered, but after 20+ years in classrooms, I am well aware that if a learner does not wish to be in the classroom, if a learner does not value learning, if a learners does not have need to learn, there is little that a teacher can do to capture that individual’s passion for learning.

    My morning bluntness.

    And as I read what I have just said, deep inside I know that frost must melt. And I will continue believing that everyone can learn, can achieve.

    Morning bluntness is not always recommendable ;-)

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  5. Hello I’m a student from Ms Lees Humanities 8 class and this is my response to your writting
    I enjoyed reading the writing. It was written somewhat like a poem in the beginning I thought.My opinion in whats written is that in some cases there are students with no motivation whats so ever. I don’t completely understand why this happens because when it does those students don’t seem to find motivation to do anything else either. Is it because they aren’t digging deep enough to fully understand and think about the concept. Are they to lazy and carefree to think about something and want to learn about. My thought are that she is right in some cases. In classes there may be students who don’t want to learn but in that same class there are some students who do want to learn but because there are student who lack motivation the teacher becomes disappointed and starts losing their motivation. That is terrible because there are students who want to learn and if the teacher begins to lose motivation to teach those students may lose their motivation to learn. My thoughts on what’s written is that in some cases today children lose motivation they stop questioning them selves about everything. Children lose their motivation because the answer to everything is right at their fingertips. Back before the internet was created kids were so motivated to learn the questioned themselves look for answers in books asked their parents did whatever but the made sure to answer that question. Today all you need to do is to look it up online it’s so easy. However children still don’t question themselves they don’t look up things. They are using technology in a way that it will only destroy your mind instead of expanding your knowledge.

    The teacher who wrote this digital narrative clearly had a reason for writing this. So what was the moral. I think the moral was that she wanted to make children aware how much their lack of motivation affects them and other people around them. It doesn’t just affect you but your teachers too. I think that she was wanting to tell kids how important motivation is and hard it would be on you in the long run if you didn’t have any motivation. She was trying to say that you can’t expect us teachers to everything. She was pretty much saying teacher open the doors of education but it is the job of the student to explore what is on the other side. Basically the moral of the story was that children need to motivate them selves to explore their learning outside of school.

    So who was she directing her writing too? It could be directed to students and teachers. She is saying that students need motivation to learn. However the educator must trigger that motivation with inspiration. The educator must show to student how amazing knowledge is and how vast,great and never ending it is. But it is also the students job to look for and find the spark of inspiration the teacher has given them and hold on to it and never let go. Students and teacher must realize they both have equal responsibility. So in the long run if something goes wrong for a student you can’t blame the teacher if you didn’t look hard enough for the inspiration they gave you.

    What does this writing have anything to do with our class? I think Ms Lees may have shown us this writing because we have just started high school. We have many long years of learning to come and we have just started our Journey. Ms Lees may have shown us this writing because in the years to come if we ever lose motivation we will remember this writing. Also as students we should know how important motivation is in our school life. This writing is connected to every student in the world because nobody just starts out with motivation. You have to look for it along the way of your long school life. Ms Lees might have shown us this piece of writing because maybe this writing could be our inspiration. We have many years of school left and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy them without our motivation to learn

    What did I think of her Writing style? I like the way she wrote it in a somewhat poem style. Her writing was very well done. I personally didn’t like the pictures all that much. I liked the whole idea but then she slightly overdid the pictures. There should be a few like 3-4 but she put in way to many. I felt that people would spend more time trying to piece together your writing with the images rather then think about what you are actually writing. The pictures were slightly confusing and took away from her great writing style. I thought the pictures to away from her writing and made it look slightly less professional. However other then that I really enjoyed reading your writing and felt that what you were saying was true.

  6. Hi Sapeda,

    Thank you for your very thoughtful comments! You are right in many ways and it is sad when a teacher loses motivation because this loss of excitement will also affect learners. However, teachers are human beings too and though they may do everything to inspire a class, there can be situations which are very frustrating and so, a teacher “switches off” and goes through the motions of teaching rather than real, vibrant teaching.

    Classrooms do not belong to teachers – they belong to BOTH students and teachers. Together, whether positively or negatively, they create their classroom atmosphere and environment. There will be days when all goes well; there will be days that are endless and really hard. But it is together, teacher and learners, that progress is made.

    Thank you too for pointing out that there are too many images! I am aware of that at times but can’t seem to help myself and include those images in my posts. Thanks to you, I will now pay closer attention to not including too many images.

    Lastly, I wish you all the very best for the journey you are starting out! Enjoy it – these will be some of the best years of your life :-)

  7. Hello, I am a student from Ms Lees’ Hum 8 class and this is my response to your “No Red Pill No Blue Pill” post.

    First of all, I liked your post because it was written creatively, like for the introduction, you wrote it kind of like a poem, that had an attention grabber. If it didn’t have an attention grabber, I probably would have got bored and not pay attention to your post.

    I totally agree with your thought on how students should have learning motiviations. If they don’t have any learning motiviation on a certain subject, they don’t even pay attention to their teachers as they teach them. What I mean by that, is, if the students think that they are being forced to participate in a class of a certain course that they don’t like, they choose not to listen to the lesson, but instead, they start doing other things, such as playing on their electronic devices or sleeping. If those students choose not to take their course seriously and just play around during the class, the teacher doesn’t feel like teaching those students, too. The students need to learn to be more responsible as they grow order because if they don’t actually want to learn or study, they can’t go to university and there are no more teachers to help them. The actions the students choose to take will either end them up in getting a great job and being rich, or living on the streets without a job.

    On the other hand, maybe the students are just interested in something else. Maybe they really hate math and want to quit the subject, but are interested in skateboarding tricks. Whatever thing the students are interested in, if they really want to learn about something that ineterests them, that learning motivation in the students will grow and they will become professionals at those things because they actually learned alot of those things. However smart the students are, if they don’t want to learn about a certain subject, they don’t care about those things and end up failing them. But when not-so-smart students are actually interested in something and they actually want to learn about it, that makes them learn more and more about it and without them realising it, they are suddenly really good at those things.

    I think this post was a message for all the students that it’s time for them to become more responsible and and choose to learn certain things. If they don’t have the learning motivation in them, they just can’t be good at that subject no matter how smart they are. The teacners can’t help the students if they don’t participate in class and slack off. They feel that the students just don’t want to learn so the teachers end up not really taking care of students as well as they should be. Now, I’m not trying to be offensive to the teachers, but if there are those certain students that drive the teachers crazy and the teachers yell at them to stop goofing around like milliong of times, but they still don’t stop, the teachers ignore the students because the students are clearly being very disrespectful for the teachers and it is very hard for them to teach the students if they are going to be fooling around.

    This post clearly reminded of Ms Lees’ hum 8 class. There were these times when certain students chose not to complete their homework all the time. The same students also played on their electronical devices as Ms Lees taught. If they don’t participate in class, what’s the point of teaching them? I also dozed off in class a couple of times because I was very tired. I tried hard not to, but sometimes your brain doesn’t work with your body. This probably happens to most of the students. They turn on their computer to do homework but a video game catches their eyes. They know they have to finish their homework but their bodies are already walking towards the remote control.

    The way the author wrote this post is very creative. There are some pictures as reference to her paragraph which explains more clearly of what she is trying to say to the audience. Also. she added an attention grabber in the beginning of the post so the readers don’t get bored. The author used lots of forms of writing, she wrote sort of a poem in the introduction, and some questions that we could answer in our heads. She highlited some of the words with light blue color and linked them so that the readers could click on it and understand better of the post. Overall, this post was very well done and my only advice would be is to organize the paragraphs a bit better by making the pictures a little bit smaller.

    • Hi Jun,

      Thank you for taking time to read and share your thoughts!

      Let me try to reply to you now, as what you said has been on my mind. Firstly, teachers don’t usually lose their motivation to teach and engage learners very often, though I will be honest with you – it can happen. Sometimes when students are so rude, so disinterested in all the efforts the teacher puts in (for example, staying up late to make great slide shows, thinking of new games and activities for lessons and so on), a teacher can feel quite despondent. After all, most teachers love learning and teaching and do their best to help students
      enjoy learning as well.

      Another point you raise is that by going to university, a person becomes rich. Well, I don’t know about that. Yes, of course that person will have more job opportunities but sometimes having a university degree will not guarantee becoming rich. Hard work and saving money will always help though :-)

      And you know what else? It is really hard to pay attention in class when we are tired! As a student that sometimes happened to me as well. No, I didn’t doze off but I day-dreamed – especially in physic lessons and now I wish I had paid more attention. It’s really important to get enough sleep, especially when you are growing and have such busy days.

      Thank you too for your feedback – I will keep paragraph organisation more in mind :-)

      Lastly, my best wishes that you have a most successful academic year!

      I

  8. Hello! This is my response to your post, No Red Pill No Blue Pill!

    First off, I felt like I could really relate to the message you have given in this post. I have seen many people not have the motivation to learn and that has really been an issue. I liked how you described every little detail and put it in poetic form to make it seem more interesting and to catch the audience’s attention. I agree that if students don’t make an effort or don’t have the motivation to learn, there will be little to no progress. The attitude in the classroom really counts in my eyes. If you really try to make an effort to participate, it shows others that you actually want to learn. I try as much as I can to have a smiling face during class and to always participate whenever chance I get. If you just don’t try at all, the teacher will eventually give up trying to teach you. This is really hard for teachers, because they love seeing students strive and succeed in whatever they do. This is what teachers are here for, to give you encouragement and to give you a little push in the right direction. If you don’t let the teacher guide you in the right direction, you will be lost for a very long time, until you come to your senses. This is why motivation is so important nowadays.

    The message in my opinion was that you should never lose motivation because then no one can help you even if they really wanted to. Motivation is key in a happy, meaningful school life. If you don’t have motivation or passion towards something, you will never learn what it has to offer. I believe that everything has a purpose and you need motivation to find that purpose and put it into good use.

    There are really big connections to our course because I feel like some people, not just the people in our class, really lack motivation. I always hear them say “I hate school!” and words like that. I have to admit, sometimes, I say those things too but I always find the good in everything and I try to think positively. This post will help us realize that life is too short to waste on not enjoying every second of it. I think a bunch of people will benefit from this post and will also relate to this post. The audience are both students AND teachers. This will help them realize that it’s the students who need to fins that motivation and it’s the job of the teacher to help them and guide them in the right direction. It’s the job of the student to find their interests but to have the teacher show them what each thing has to offer.

    I have a different opinion from my classmates. I think the pictures enhance what you are trying to say and it gives the audience a more interesting vibe than opposed to just a regular post. I do agree with them though, to not put to many. Just put a few here and there and not overwhelm your audience.

    Thank you !

    ,Sydney

    • Hi Sydney,

      Thank you so much for taking time to read and reply to my post!

      You remind me of myself – even though there were good days and not so good days at school, I never said that I hated school. I didn’t. I always loved discovering new things and stretching my mind :-)

      I became a teacher by chance and circumstance and still love feeling my mind alive with new understandings and perspectives. Learning, understanding the world around us, helps us have happier lives, don’t you agree? It is by understanding that we appreciate other cultures, other points of views and even economic situations around the world.

      And yes! life does go by very quickly; though there were times when I was a teenager I wished time would go faster (especially when I wanted to take my driver’s license :-) There are many things I didn’t pay attention to when I was at school and I really regret it now. For example, I play guitar since I was 13 (and yes, still do) but never learnt how to read music. I could have but…I didn’t take the opportunity at the time. So I think it’s really cool that you always have a positive attitude even when things don’t go so well.

      Remember, life is pretty much what you make out of it :-)

      Hope you continue being positive no matter what!

  9. Hi my name is Eddy and I would like to give you some feedback and your magnificent peace of work here.

    First of all, I would just like to inform you that learning that learning IS a delightful, warm, easy, fuzzy experience. It is just like a speech, if you don’t have the audience’s attention in the first 10 seconds, they will fall asleep and totally ignore you. The way that you present something is key. Instead of the teacher saying “okay kids it’s time for math!”. Maybe a teacher could say it more excited with a good way to introduce it such as ” okay kids before we start I would just like to know who here loves money”? Kids love money and when you tell them that math is related to the one thing that they love, they might get pulled in by it.

    Another way to motivate kids into learning is setting a goal for them. For example, while in class you could give out candy or a special chair to the student that works the hardest or does really well in class or behaves the best. This way everyone will strive to get that awesome prize. If you are wondering about the time after the student gets the special chair or candy there is a solution to this madness. Another way to get kids motivated for school is to hand out tickets to students that do things well. At the end of the day you would call out a ticket and the student with that ticket wins a chocolate bar or a magic pencil! This way students will have to behave the entire day to get more tickets and a better chance at the chocolate bar.

    Finally, if You are the one that needs motivation, then just keep thinking over and over in your head that you are helping the future generation become better men and women. Or if this doesn’t work you can always keep coffee at your desk.

    Thank you!

  10. Hello, I am a student from Mrs.Lees Hum 8 class and i am responding to your No red pill no blue pill post!
    I can relate to this quite well because i remember myself back in elementary school getting horrible marks and just not caring about my work, but as i matured I realized that if i dont motivate myself to learn now how am i going to want to get a job in the future?
    I feel that your post includes too many pictures which can be quite distracting from the content itself although the pictures you chose fit the topic and gave it a sort of erie feel.
    The message in my opinion is to Not let distractions take over you in life, if you want to do something then go for it, just like how electronics take away from peoples motivation to learn!
    I think the perfect audience for this would be teens between 15 and 18 who are starting to think about getting out there into the real world and motivating themselves to do what they love or want!

    -Richard

  11. Hi Ms. Pratas,

    Let me start off by saying that your article up there is a fabulous piece of work. Anyhow, my name is Kevin from Ms. Lees Humanities 8 Class and I will be responding to your article “No Red Pill, No Blue Pill”

    What grabbed my attention right from the start was the title itself, as I read along further into the article I began to notice what you meant. In learning, there are no shortcuts and success is only achieved with hard work and motivation.

    I liked how you focused on a poetic theme at both the beginning and the ending. This was another attention-grabber for me and led me wanting to read further. But what really grabbed my attention the most was the quote about the red and blue pills. You can choose to see an illusion of what you believe, but in the end this will end up hurting you.

    I agree with the majority of the content in the article as education is something that is constantly changing. Motivation is definitely one of the key components to learning, for example a smart student with a lack of motivation will not perform as well as an average student who is motivated to learn and move forward. If you aren’t determined and motivated to learn, quite simply you won’t. Teachers want to help you and watch you succeed, but in the end it is up to you to decide what you do.

    The article connected to me in many ways, I always hear students saying that they hate school or those students that NEVER do their homework. These students would be doing much better had they motivated themselves to go further or to do their homework.

    The article helped me realize that teachers can only do so much – yes, they will guide you in the right direction but it is up to the students to find their interests and motivate themselves.

    Regarding the layout of the article, the infographics and pictures enhanced your article; it helped me visualize some of the things you were talking about.

    Overall, this was a great article that I made lots of connections to, as you said “Connections do happen” and furthermore motivated me as I considered if I should bother doing my homework and writing this response tonight.

    -Kevin Nan

  12. Hello, My name is Maya and I am also a student from Mr. Lees Hum 8 class, this is in response to your post “No red pill, No blue pill”.

    I really enjoyed reading your post, it was a nice different out look on a topic that has been greatly stressed and reviewed by my elementary teaches in the past. The poetic type of beginning really grasped my attention and since you also touched up with it throughout the entire writing it gave the piece a really nice edge, that intrigues people to read more. Even though I’ve watched the Matrix (but still am kind of fuzzy on the confusing story line to the movie) I wouldn’t have gone as far to make a comparison about it to my school life. It was a brilliant idea to make a connection of the red pill, blue pill from a popular movie and compare it to learning and how students now lack motivation. The similarities on the topic are really coming out for me now and it was a clever way to grasp attention. However even without that, from the first mysterious sentence you had me hooked to read more. It was a very well thought out attention grabber while the pictures are really worth a million words and they amplified the message you were trying to create.

    In my opinion the message you were trying to give wasn’t only that both students and teachers have to participate to keep the other motivated, that it’s each owns job and responsibility to become and stay inspired, but that you can’t have one without the other. For a student to stay inspired the teacher has to keep faith in that student, or else the student will become discouraged and lose their inspiration. Same goes for the teacher, if a teacher tries with all his/her might to educate a student but the student refuses to learn then neither will prosper. Each one holds a power over the other both positively and negatively, because the attitude of one will alter or dent the others. Without the motivation from both sides the effort from just one of them is in vain and dies out quickly.

    They need participation from each other just like a safe needs a key and how a economical flashlight needs a person to wind it.Think about it this way, if there is great potential and prosperity inside a safe but no one has a key to open it then soon force and quick rash decisions to try and open the safe may end up damaging it, just how a student can be brought down by damaging comments when they are ignored in a process of trying to learn something, then expected to perform said task perfectly when asked. They need someone that doesn’t lose hope and try to help them by supporting them but it’s their job as well, to first show the promise that the other needs to know how hard they have to try to succeed. Also to how a economical flashlight needs someone to wind to to keep the light going, even though the light may flicker and not be as bright at times or it may not perform as well as you want it too, or even as well that you know it can, it still needs you to help and wind it the entire time so that even the smallest of flicker or biggest of beacons of light don’t go out. If you lose hope that the flashlight will work well, or get tired and frustrated about it along the way and stop trying to make it work, then the flashlight won’t work on it’s own. How can it? Even though everything it needs to work it there, it has to have the support of someone else along the way, students need a teacher that will have hope in them throughout their entire learning career. So that they always know to stay motivated even when they are just barely flickering like a flashlight about to go out.

    I think this is part of why Ms. Lees showed us your post, since we just started high school some of us might be becoming overwhelmed. We might try to forget our responsibilities to our schoolwork because the teachers aren’t breathing down our necks forcing us to do it. Since we have all the structure we need it’s becoming both of our jobs to stay motivated and actually finish the work in class, to read that page that our teacher assigned, to pay attention to the board even though our friends aren’t, to listen in class even though our phones are so much more tempting, to still study for that test even though its almost spring break and we can taste the anticipation of leaving school. She wanted this to remind us that we have to work more as a team because in the long run, which is a REALLY long couple years to come since we only just started, we have to remember that this work now will affect us. The work habits we have now, or lack off are what will bring us into a pattern. If we don’t have any disposition to work and explore subjects now, later on that will be very hard to change.

    We still have to be inspired and motivated to do our work because really there’s only so much that, that one side can do. Theres only so many times a person can open a safe with a key before the opening door rusts shut. Only so many times a person will attempt to wind up that non-battery flashlight before they leave it for something easier, like grabbing their phone instead. Sadly the most often case of lack of motivation isn’t the teacher fault, sometimes they won’t pay enough attention to the student so finally it’s them who gives up, but I believe you were trying to say that “each it’s own but later on both will clash and become undone”. That’s something my Grandma tells me, later on everything I do will affect me somehow, big or small if I expect it or not. It’s the same for school work, in my school some kids don’t finish their work or study because they think it’s only grade 8 and grades now won’t affect them for the future, or that they don’t need the material now for the long run. Even some students that know they need the material for future classes that still isn’t enough for them to begin trying with the school work they make now. The teachers and students each have to try their best to keep material interesting and relatable, thats where the need for motivation comes in because without any school work is dull and and the both students aren’t really trying but just barely scraping by.

    Your outlook on it that it cannot be either, no red pill no blue pill, is really refreshing that you’re not blaming either side for anything but saying that they must work together for either to prosper. Everyone must participate so that the guidance can come everywhere and the entire group of students and teachers and pull each other forward when everyone has an attitude that makes them eager to learn, and not only learn but work and participate to the best that they can. So that from the motivation to learn that becomes a desire and finally and impulse to become better in everything that you can.

    I also agree with Sydney that the pictures were a very nice touch and they added to the mysteriously intriguing writing style that you used. I enjoyed reading your post and I hope to get some feedback from you about my response! :)
    Thank-you,
    Maya

  13. Hi, my name is Emily, and I am going to give you my feedback to your post!

    Upon reading this post, i was thinking to myself ways that i could relate to what’s written, and try to understand all the metaphors.
    I loved how you wrote this kind of like a poem, and stuck with it from start to finish. It really brings a new light to the writing, and to me, it alters how people picture what you’re actually talking about (in a sense). But, the pictures, (which may or may not have some relevance to your writing) i found a little distracting while reading, as if it changed the scenes i’d imagine from reading your entry, into something totally different. On the other hand, some were helpful. I liked how you included the charts and info-graphics, and then talked about each. I also found the highlighted words to be very useful, because this is a difficult post to understand fully, and I thought that the highlighted words moved everything along much smoother and more efficiently!
    The title is attention-getting all on it’s own but the thing i truly admire is how you subtly included references from the title into your post, such as the quote where you got the motivation for the title. Asking yourself questions, and being repetetive throughout your entry were other admirable attributes of your story, but what really got me was the title and the first couple of pure poetic sentences (as i mentioned earlier) before you gradually got to your point (which i also liked, because you didn’t rush to your point). It kind of left me confused, but in a good way, and it edged me on.
    First off, what I understood was that in learning, there is no easy way out. No red pill, no blue pill. The student cannot succeed at learning if they have no motivation. And no matter how hard the teacher tries to push, they will make no progress. I can strongly relate to this because I have witnessed these sort of situations countless times.
    But what has made the children lose their motivation? What is the missing piece of the puzzle?
    Learning? When the student steps into the real world, and they realize it’s too much to handle, what do they do? They blame it on the teacher. It’s too hard to handle, and it hurts. But is there anything the teacher can do to help them? They are wading into a deep pool wearing no life jacket, and they don’t know what else to do but flail their arms and start to sink. How can they regain their motivation? How can they become independent learners from this point? They need to be able to trust in themselves and take their own route, that’s the only way.
    In conclusion, I totally agree with this article. I advise all students to rid themselves of their fear, and travel down the road of independance to discover capabilities beyond anything they’d ever dream of having.
    But the question I have for you is; What is the motivation of this article? Does it have a meaning to it? Is it directed to someone personally?
    Thank you,
    Emily

    • Hi Emily,

      My motivation to write this? Sometimes writing helps me find answers to questions and issues I have on my mind. In some ways, writing is like a therapy – a person writes and while writing, our brain finds ways to give us answers. Does that make sense to you?

      As a teacher, I wonder about students who are not motivated. I like to understand why and if I can help them in any way. Sometimes students are doing the wrong course – and that of course is a sure way not to want to be in class, isn’t it?

      No, I don’t write to anyone in particular; not even a previous post that was for a teacher trainee. Some of the blog posts here were assignments I had to complete, while others were just reflections of what I had been wondering about during some days.

      I have always enjoyed writing; today I like putting things together – images, graphs, videos and things like that. Your reply has now left me with more questions – should a blogger really write for someone in mind? Or should we share our thoughts and concerns?

      I don’t have a clear cut answer for that; I think it will depend very much on the individual.

      As for poetic images, I have NO doubt that you can write beautiful poetry! I love the your images and especially your advice on how students should be fearless.

      You go fearlessly Emily and conquer the world!

  14. Hi, my name is Isaac and I’m from Ms, Lees’ English 10 class.
    I really liked your post and I would like to show you my response to it.

  15. Pingback: No Red Pill No Blue Pill | (Language) learning ...

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