NOTE to TEACHERS
You may download a Rich Text Format version (choices.rtf) for editing.
A main purpose of this talk is to Expand the Student's Self-Interest Horizon.
This talk starts out in such a way as to capture the students' attention: "Where is this talk headed?"
I have given this talk to grades 5 through 8. All classes gave applause at the end. Results were fairly good, with some students really seeing the light, changing from avoiding homework, to being a very serious student.
I started at one end of the room and spoke to and with each student in turn. Each time I came to a red (Name) in the text, I moved to the next student, and used his or her name. I gave extra verbal emphasis to the words ALL, YOU, and YOUR, looking directly and intently at the student to make it more personal.
During the talk, I always had complete attention from the students. They seemed to be quite honest about the times they made poor choices. Students who said that they never made the bad choices I had asked them about were the better students. I believed them, and said so. I think that their good examples added to the truth and impact of the talk. If this is the case in your classroom, point out that fact to the class.
Print out the talk and read from it in class.
This talk should be followed up at every opportunity. Emphasize the choices that come their way. "Make the good choice of learning this well, because you will absolutely need it all through life!" Other pages on this site may have choice and choose highlighted in color, as a tieback to this paper, and for emphasis.
Preface: When I talk directly to you, dont feel I am singling you out. Everybody else, when I talk to individual students today, consider that I am talking directly to you! Answer my questions in your mind, just as if I am speaking directly to you.
When I speak about choices, please keep in mind that events beyond our control can sometimes effect what will happen to us. Also, it is true that sometimes we make what we think are good choices, but they eventually turn out bad. Remember we usually have opportunity to change our minds and do better next time.
How many of you are planning to be a failure in life? How many of you are hoping that you will have to live on the street, pushing all of your possessions in a stolen shopping cart? How many of you want to die at an early age somewhere on the streets from poor nutrition, exposure to the cold, and no medical treatment? Raise your hands if that is what you are planning for your life.
Nobody? ..... Interesting. (If someone raises hand, say, "Hearing that makes me VERY SORRY for your parents, and for you!")
How many of you are planning to just sort of drift through life, living from one small paycheck to the next small paycheck? Are you looking forward to always being in debt? Would it be FUN for you to get kicked out of the house you are renting, because you cant pay the rent? Hands please?
Nobody? ..... Interesting! (If someone raises hand, say, "Hearing that makes me VERY SORRY for your parents, and for you!")
But today there are people who are failures. Do you think they had planned to fail? Raise your hand if you think they had planned to be failures.
Just like YOU, they didnt plan to fail!
So Why Did They Fail?
Many of them will claim to be Victims of forces beyond their control. Someone else is the cause. This is almost always incorrect!
Most people fail because of the choices they make. Thats worth repeating!
Most people fail because of the choices they made.
It is not that they directly chose failure. They chose to NOT take the path that leads to success. They chose other paths instead. They chose the easy paths. They chose fun paths.
(Name), all- ALL - of YOUR choices are the Engine that is carrying YOU into YOUR future.
(Name), the sum total of all YOUR choices greatly determines what YOUR life will be like.
IT IS AS SIMPLE AS THIS:
(Name), if YOU constantly make bad choices, then YOU are building a bad future.
(Name), if YOU constantly make good choices, then YOU are building a good future.
The most important choices YOU can make - consciously make - are like these:
1. (Name) if you said yes, then YOU are at the start of the road that takes YOU to a good personal future!
2. (Name) the good road does not even exist until YOU decide to take that good road!
3. (Name) at the time YOU decide to take that good road, the only part that exists is where YOU are then standing!
4. (Name) YOU have to build that good road as YOU are traveling along it!
5. (Name) as YOU continue to make good choices, YOU will be building the road that leads to a quality future!
What are some bad choices students might make? Be honest with yourself. Have you ever made any of these bad choices?
(Name) have YOU ever chosen to watch TV, rather than do your homework? (Wait for answer.) If so, at that moment YOU chose failure!
(Name) have YOU ever chosen to (go out and ride your skateboard) (talk on the phone), rather than study for a test? (Wait for answer.) If so, at that moment YOU chose failure!
(Name) have YOU ever chosen to talk with your friends while the teacher is talking to the class? (Wait for answer.) If so, at that moment YOU chose failure!
(Name) have YOU ever chosen to ignore the advice given to you by the teacher? (Wait for answer.) If so, at that moment YOU chose failure
(Name) have YOU ever chosen to not ask for help with some school task you didnt understand? (Wait for answer.) If so, at that moment YOU chose failure
(Name) have YOU ever chosen to not look in your agenda book because you were "too busy"? (Wait for answer.) If so, at that moment YOU chose failure.
What is Your Road to Success Made of?
(Name) the good road into YOUR future is built with bricks of knowledge and paved with practice, experience, and thinking skills. It is only YOU who builds that road, BUT... YOU cannot do it alone. Nobody can!
People have done this before. Other people have helped them.
(Name) those now-successful people stand ready to help YOU ! They are called: Professor, Teacher, Mom, Dad, Grandfather, Grandmother, Sister, Brother, Family, and Friend.
What are Some of the Good Choices?
(Name) after choosing that YOU want to take that good road, the next choice YOU must make is to let those other people help YOU.
(Name) YOU cannot do it by YOUR self. Nobody can!
(Name) we helping people have been along our own road, and it was quite similar to the one YOU will be traveling. We can look back and see where YOU are going!
(Name) we know the problems YOU will likely encounter. We know the difficulties. We know the joys.
(Name) we cannot build the road for YOU.
We can hand YOU the bricks of knowledge.
YOU must choose to either:
1. Throw them away.
2. Take those bricks and add them to the foundation of YOUR road.
(Name) we can offer YOU the opportunity to practice.
YOU can choose to:
1. Ignore the opportunities because it's too much work and I dont feel like doing it.
2. Grab that opportunity to practice, and add some paving to YOUR road, to make travel smoother and faster.
(Name) we can offer YOU projects so that YOU can apply what YOU have learned and practiced. These will help YOU by giving YOU real world experience.
YOU can choose to:
1. Watch TV.
2. Apply YOUR new knowledge to the project and develop the kind of understanding that only experience can produce.
(Name) we can give YOU challenges designed to improve YOUR thinking power.
YOU can choose to:
1. Ignore our challenge, and just do more of the same old familiar things, and not grow YOUR mind.
2. Tackle the problem or project with enthusiasm, energy, determination, and the expectation of mastering some new thing, to improve YOUR ability to think, and to solve problems.
ALL OF YOU:
As a baby it was easier to just lay on the floor than it was to stand up, walk, or run. But if as a baby, YOU decided to just lay on the floor forever, then YOU would never master the very difficult tasks of standing, walking, or running!
But you were motivated! YOU didnt stay on the floor. Now YOU know the joy of being able to stand, walk, and run! And it is easy!
The same thing is true of many things in life. It is hard at first. It gets easier. Then it becomes automatic and effortless. It becomes satisfying and fun!
Life is a series of choices.
Remember, the sum total of ALL of YOUR choices greatly determines what YOUR life will be like. My friends, and my students, please make good choices. I care about YOU! I want YOU to have a GOOD future! That is why they call me "Teacher."
I WANT YOU TO BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE! It is my prayer.
Computer Literacy Teacher
Lord God, help these my students and my friends to be able to recognize when they have choices to make. Grant them the wisdom to know what is their BEST choice. Provide them the inner strength to be able to resist the easy choices that would lead them away from success, but instead to pick the good choices that will move them towards the success You want them to have.
Page TOP - - - Motivation Contents - - - Master Contents
Can any of you think of good or bad choices you or other students have made, or could make? (Don't use the name of another student!)
Raise you hand.
(Lead discussions about why they were good or bad.)
What is the BEST use of my time RIGHT NOW?
What do you do if You Dont Like to be Told What To Do?
How does one Handle Negative Criticism?