This is an interesting TED talk on what motivates and drives human decisions. Tony Robbins has identified six basic human needs and believes everyone is—or can be—motivated by their desire to fulfill these needs. While there are many different philosophies, identified needs, approaches, etc. out there in the world about motivation and meeting needs…these 6 (though maybe not comprehensive) are certainly valid and worth thinking about in relation to our work with children.
1. Certainty/Comfort. While there is no absolute certainty, how do we provide environments for children that are predictable? How do we structure routines so they find comfort in what can be anticipated? How do we clarify what is coming in their day and in their learning so they are certain about what to expect of their world at school and of what we expect of them?
2. Variety. How do we provide children with healthy experiences of uncertainty? How do we teach them to pursue meaningful, safe spice and adventure in their young lives?
3. Significance. How do we see, appreciate, and know children so that they feel they are important? How do we acknowledge them so that they know their presence in our school and in our lives has meaning and significance?
4. Connection/Love. How do we show children we care in large and small ways? How do we strive to connect them to the community around them so they feel a part of it? How do we work to not just care FOR them, but care ABOUT them and who they are and what drives them?
5. Growth. How do we inspire children to grow? How do we make the need for and importance of growth explicit so they are more driven to pursue it? How do we teach them to take healthy risks and manage fear of failure? How do we model and teach them to cope with failure?
6. Contribution. What opportunities do we offer children to contribute to each other? To their classroom? To TPS? To the local and global community around them? How do we foster a desire that contribution is important? How do we model and make transparent our own contributions?