By George Hidalgo
As Raphael was literally running down the stairs to get to his ESL class, he stopped and stood in front of a colorful wave- shaped poster about motivation. Knowing how late he was for class already he skimmed every other line of the poster till he heard his professor call on him.
As soon as the professor asked if there were any questions to be asked, Raphael raised his hand and asked about the importance of motivation when learning a new language. His teacher was somewhat surprised by the question, but was very delighted to answer it. He defined motivation as an active tool within each of us which launches innumerable opportunities for learning. Students who fail to activate this tool turn into passive and unmotivated learners.
Raphael nodded for an instant and asked a new question; what is that tool you are referring to and how it is activated? His professor said unless you set your goals and know what brings you to school every day, this tool is anonymous and cannot be exploited. Unfortunately some students pay only a little, or no attention at all to their aspirations and are forced to come to school.
Despite the teacher’s explanation, Raphael still felt up in the air and had another question to ask. He said, “How do we learn about motivation?” His professor responded motivation is not as a grammar rule you have to know by heart, nor is it a defined mechanism you have to follow through. Motivation is simply what causes you to raise your hand when something is not clear enough. It is also what engages you to excel in school, but most importantly motivation is what walks you through the path of success.
Raphael left the classroom thinking that his teacher’s explanation had helped him to piece together a puzzle of questions that had been holding him back from being a brighter student. As he was walking up the stairs, he stopped by the poster again and read it carefully this time. At the end he noticed the poster lacked the author’s signature; however, he laughed at the fact that the presumed author had just responded all his requests.