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The Motivation Toolbox: Essential Strategies for a Successful School Year

Updated: Oct 3, 2023



In today's episode, Dr. Sam is joined by Leanna Malinowski, an award-winning educator, to discuss tips and strategies for staying motivated. Leanna shares valuable insights and practical advice for pre-service teachers and anyone looking to keep their energy and enthusiasm high. Get ready to discover new ways to maintain motivation and create an engaging learning environment.


Understanding the Mid-Semester Slump:

  • Leanna emphasizes that the mid-semester slump is a common experience for pre-service and classroom teachers.

  • It's important to acknowledge this phase and not feel discouraged by it. Even students go through it.

  • Teaching is like a performance; maintaining energy and enthusiasm is crucial for creating an engaging learning environment.

Resources to Boost Energy:

  • Leanna recommends Dave Burgess' book, "Teach Like a Pirate," which emphasizes the importance of exciting and captivating lessons.

  • She suggests exploring Dave Burgess' podcasts and resources for an instant energy boost.

  • Another great educator is Monica Genta, who provides quick tips and strategies to keep motivation high, especially for middle school teachers.

Self-Learning and Professional Development:

  • Dr. Sam and Leanna highlight the importance of continuous learning and professional development.

  • They encourage teachers to explore resources and webinars that are energizing and aligned with their interests.

  • Leanna advises saving recordings or bookmarking resources for later when the workload is lighter.

  • Self-selected professional development allows teachers to focus on topics that resonate with them and keeps motivation high.

Taking Breaks and Setting Boundaries:

  • Leanna emphasizes the need for teachers to give themselves breaks when necessary.

  • Finding time for exercise or engaging in activities that bring joy and release energy is crucial for maintaining motivation.

  • Teachers should talk to their cooperating teachers or colleagues for personalized advice on time management and setting boundaries.

Personal Time and Friendships:

  • Leanna stresses the importance of personal time and self-care for teachers.

  • Finding enjoyable activities, such as cleaning the house or pursuing hobbies, helps you stay motivated.

  • Leanna suggests dedicating a specific day, like "Friend Friday," to reach out and connect with non-teacher friends.

  • Cultivating relationships and maintaining friendships outside of teaching is essential for well-being and motivation.

Find ways to maintain motivation and keep their energy levels high. Leanna Malinowski's insights and strategies provide valuable guidance for pre-service teachers and educators seeking to create an engaging learning environment. Remember to prioritize self-care, explore energizing resources, and connect with friends to stay motivated throughout the semester.

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