This week I taught 2 times; Tuesday and Thursday, still in the same class of course. The first teaching ran in hurry. I ran out of time so I could not do the group work activity while this was my CAR topic. I also forget to ask reflection emoticon from the students. So, at the end of the class, when I came back to the teachers’ room, I was depressed. I am a kind of perfectionist so when my plan did not run well I would be a sloppy baby. I just suddenly demotivated and consider myself as a bad teacher. My class management was troubled. Well, it’s not fair if I just put the blame on myself. The time was spent too much when I have to re-explain about the concept that I have given in the last session. I need to make sure that every student understands so I did the confirmation again and again, and when I did it there were always students who ask for more explanation. I do not want to defend my sloppiness here but the A to D grading upon classes in that school really means about the students capabilities. Yes there were also bright students but they were not motivated to learn in group as my CAR plan. These bright students, revealed after I spread the questionnaire and did some interviews, were kind of individual learners. They believe that group work would only distract their learning process. That was why they were not motivated to learn in group. I think this kind of motivation can be belonged to motivation that’s influenced by beliefs about capability: self-efficacy. They believe that they can reach their maximum potential by doing the learning alone so there would not be disturbance from others. Just like P. Smith and Fouad said (1999) that self-efficacy is domain specific. In this case, the bright students have high self-efficacy for studying by themselves but have low self-efficacy to control the group work so it can be run as they wish.
I also found motivation that influenced by beliefs about value: utility value case in my class. Still in my second teaching, I found my students seem unmotivated to learn. Then, I remembered to my friend’s trick in her class about having the students know what the usage of mathematics in their life is. So, I asked my students about what do they want for their life. In short time, what program that they want to take in the XI grade. I said that no matter where they go and what they might be, mathematics will always follow. Well, actually I have done it in my very first teaching time but this time I specified the talk about the topic I teach. All of the sudden, after I told them about the usage of quadratic equation in their future, several students were stunned. They who before were chattering became more serious in class. There was even a student who keep answering and asking along the class. I thought I succeed to motivate them this time.
My last class in the school was thrilling, both in the good and bad ways. First thing I recognized about the class that day was there were several students missing. 4 people absent and 3 more went for OSIS meeting. The great thing was I did NOT panic. I could control my feeling, hurray! I used grouping method here. There should be 6 groups but since there were several students missing in action, I changed it into 5 groups directly. Maybe you think that I am exaggerating but for me, self-control to be calm when the situation doesn’t come to my plan is a super huge massive deal. God, I love reflection assignment! J
Another unfortunate in that session was the student that I targeted to be interviewed did not show up. Again, I have to say that I was not panic. Then, I pick another student for my interview. It just I cannot reveal his motivation from last week and my hypothesis could not be proven, too bad.
In the class, I gave them the domino card game. When I told them about it, they were extremely excited to start. Moreover when I said that every winner from the game will gain perfect score, they were buzzing like bees in the early spring that seek for honey. I think it was an example of performance-approach goals that influenced motivation. Eventually, when I declared that I might never come back, several students expressed their lost. However, I have to admit that the reaction was not as expressive as the last school in the last semester gave. I learned a lot form this SEP. Since I taught in the school that accentuated heart not intelligence, motivation became the most important thing to give in the class. I am still not sure yet whether I want to teach math or not but I am already sure that I want to touch Indonesian students’ life with being an educator.
Firzie Budiono Ravasia