What keeps you motivated?

Yesterday I was talking about motivation with one of my students, and so I started asking myself: what makes me invest time (and sometimes money) in CDP, in writing this blog, in reading and reflecting on my teaching?

I guess the main motivation for me comes from seeing students go out of my lessons smiling, when I see them improve their English (rarely, since I usually see them for a short period of time) and… yes, also when I notice my own English improving. 🙂

I also enjoy the fact that this job makes me see many different people, and is never boring, as I wrote some time ago.

Then I started thinking about the burnout teachers in met on the way, those who don’t see the point in keeping updating and improving (‘am I ever going to be good enough?’ they ask). Those who feel it will not make a difference and so decide to just repeat the usual routine.

And I wonder: am I going to get there? Are we all at some point? Is it possible to come back? How much responsibility does the institution we work for have in keeping its teachers motivated and enthusiastic about the job? How much influence does the fact that teaching is notoriously poorly paid have on motivation?

I’m afraid this post is going to be more about questions than about answers. Personally, I find myself swinging between peaks of strong motivation, usually at the beginning of a new school year or an exciting new project, and depth of discouragement, especially when I have to work very long hours, or when in spite of my best efforts I still hear myself making the same old mistakes in class.

How about you?

Any thoughts?

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