"Swimming or Floating"
Doing nothing more than you are asked, and just enough to get through, can describe the statement "Students will float to the mark you set." Mike Rose states this in the selection "I Just Wanna Be Average". There are many people in this world, that will do what you ask of them, and that is it. Nothing more and nothing less, it is like when I tell my kids to "clean the kitchen" or "clean your room", they will put the dishes in the dishwasher or pick up the big items on their floors. From experience I have learned that if I want these things done correctly I have to give multiple tasks and step-by-step instructions, then maybe I will be lucky enough to have half of the tasks completed. This same effortless situation occurs between students and teachers, for instance, the instructor gives the student an assignment to read a chapter in the textbook and take the quiz at the end of the chapter, the student follows the instructions from the teacher and does not go beyond that point.
When we begin school our education experience is, go to school, and do what the teachers tell us. While in school the teachers encourage us to do our work in exchange for something nice, similar to giving a doggie a treat for sitting or fetching. In kindergarten we are rewarded with stickers, treats and other satisfying pleasures. As we move along to elementary, junior and high school, our rewards turn into points with letter grades. The "letters" are based on the work and behavior that is carried out while we are still children, these letter grades are intended to determine how well we will do in our futures. Receiving your first "bad" grade can make or break you, depending on your character. Some will work hard to bring that grade up, others can become discouraged and not try as hard, because everyone does not have the same drive and ambition that it takes to be that "A" student.
"If you want to become a successful person you must have good grades", this is something along the lines of what we are told while in school. Is this enough motivation to make you want to be an "A" student? I believe that motivation is necessary, to get and maintain good grades. Motivation could just be a few words such as "good job" or " nice try" this can help direct you and get you to do a little more than you would normally. Extrinsic motivation, with tangible and intangible rewards can sometimes help, certain people work better with a little praise or a little threat. Rose explains "There's been a good deal of research and speculation suggesting that the acknowledgment of school performance with extrinsic rewards-smiling faces, stars, numbers, grades- diminishes the intrinsic satisfaction children experience by engaging in reading or writing or problem solving." I do not agree, in my own educational experience, I do better when my work is acknowledged, whether it's to let me know that I need to do better or that I did a great job, this can make me more sure of myself.
In a previous semester, on the first day of class I had an Instructor who told the class to "write the **** down, look the **** up", this instructor was very blunt to say the least. I thought that he would be one of my favorites. He kept me frazzled and somewhat confused the entire semester, the teaching method used was very different than any other I had ever experienced. The course was similar to a Hybrid class, all of the assignments that we were to complete for the entire semester were listed on a discussion board, I liked that, I knew what I had to do upfront, no surprises. There was rarely ever a due date given, he would mention an assignment once maybe twice then, on any given day afterwards request that we email it to him the next day. In the beginning this was very puzzling to the class, eventually we all sort of got used to it, either you had the work done or you missed out on that grade. Some days we were in the computer lab other days in a lecture type classroom, we never knew what day we would be where.
This instructor asked tons of questions, most were so obvious that it made me unconfident in the answers that I wanted to respond with, it made me hesitate or not answer at all. I couldn't wait until this class was done with, most of the class felt the same way. After a while he told us that we should never be afraid to reply to what he was talking about, and that we should feel free to express our concerns and opinions, and in most situations there was no right or wrong answer. The major portion of our grades would come from an e-portfolio, that would explain our learning experience from beginning to end in his class, the class knew about this from the start of class but we didn't start working on the e-portfolios until the last few weeks of the semester, I worked on it day and night hours at a time. Two weeks before class was over he gave an extra credit assignment to do, he would not divulge the number of points that could be earned, only that it would be "a lot". It was an e-portfolio on ten pages from a book that we actively read. Luckily I did a great job in comprehending the book so I was able to complete a spectacular extra credit assignment and final e-portfolio to fill that major portion of my grade.
Overall, that has been my most memorable class since I have returned to school. His constant discussions with those sometimes taunting questions kept me on my toes and motivated me to earn an "A" in his class. This instructor told us from the start "write the **** down, look the **** up" and that's exactly what I did, with a little extra. I feel that I was able to swim past the mark that was anticipated.