The Problem with Student Motivation

Oakton students aren't motivated by what the school wants them to be.

Jacob Rutzick, Staff Writer

Motivation is hard to come by. Something that really drives you to succeed and work hard to achieve your goals. Some people never find something to motivate them to work hard. Oakton students have many things to motivate them: grades, college, family, friends. But what really motivates Oakton students to succeed.

Highschool is a grind, a challenge, and for most, it is impossible to do well without a strong motivator. Studying for hours and hours for a test or quiz is no easy task. Sadly, most Oakton students don’t have the idealistic motivations that the school wants them to have. If everything happened in the rose-tinted glasses that administration thinks it will then students would study the material because they are genuinely curious about the material. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Students couldn’t care less about the material, and only study to get the grades associated with the work. Ryan Sakhel, 10, says “I haven’t been genuinely excited about anything I have taken. I work for the grade and that’s it… The material doesn’t matter to me.” This isn’t an outlier of an opinion, a lot of Oakton students feel the same way about a lot of the classes they take. For some, they can find one class maybe two that are interesting to them. However, most students don’t find more than maybe one class that interests them. How are students supposed to know what they want to do in college and beyond when they can’t find subjects that interest them.

What can administration do about this problem? This is obviously hypothetical. Giving students a better picture of what a class will teach them. A lot of students go into the classes unsure about what to expect and what they will be learning. Drew Pierce, 12, “I never get to know much information about the classes I am taking. Even if I ask my current teachers or counselor, no one gives me an accurate answer.” If students know more about the classes they take then they might be able to find more classes that pique their intellectual interest. Oakton has done an electives fair in the past, but it should do more. Giving the students a few days to here from the teachers would also help give students a better idea of what they are getting into. Students are the only ones who know if they will enjoy a class. Letting the teachers show them what they will be learning will help students create a schedule actually structured around their interests. Also making fewer requirements will help students take more interesting classes to.