The Daily Shoot assignment made me look for essential teachers' products. In the end, I chose these stickers that my Singaporean colleague gave to me on our visit there. We don't really use any stickers like these in Finland, at least not in high school any more, nor are they easy to find in any of our shops. So I was really happy to get these to use for my students' written English work. I've noticed that my students always get slightly bemused, but also secretly happy to find a colourful sticker of encouragement and recognition on their papers.
Snapping my products photos also made me ponder on motivation in general. What motivated me to spend a couple of hours trying different products, settings, props, camera angles etc. for today's photos? For me, with photography, it's quite clear - I love learning through hands-on trial and error and experimenting how the dozens of different buttons and features of my camera affect the end result. The instant results of my learning are very rewarding and motivating. Today, for example, I learned a lot about focus and depth of field while discarding close to 100 shots and finally settling for this particular one.
However, as a foreign language teacher, I know that the learning process of languages is much slower and harder to assess. How to then help students find and maintain their motivation? I'm also thinking about the relation between outer and inner motivation. Is there a point where a student becomes so self-directed that teachers' stickers or other people's praise become irrelevant? And to what extent does relying on these outer rewards in the traditional school environment actually hinder the development of a student's inner passion and urge to learn? For example, why do I upload my photos online instead of just learning independently on my own?