A few years ago, I was asked to teach Anatomy and Physiology. We are a pretty small school, so this has been a class that is taught when the interest is there and we can fill a classroom.
This remains one of the rare upper level classes I have ever taught, so maybe my perspective is somewhat skewed, but I saw a different type of motivation at work here.
Victoria was a hard worker. She was a straight A student. She was valedictorian.
She was a Grade Junkie.
It didn't matter what kind of work I threw at her, she got it done. Six page tests? No problem. The great by-product of having Victoria in class was that (almost) all the other students followed right along with her. I was thrilled. Finally, I could assign homework, and the kids would actually do it. I could give a test and not have to go buy a new pen to grade it.
Then one day, we had some down time. I can't even remember what the conversation was about, but the words that came out of Victoria's mouth stopped me in my tracks.
"I don't care if I learn anything, I just want the A."
I am still trying to reconcile that statement with what I am doing in my classroom. I started on my winding journey into SBG (although I didn't know where I was going) because of that one little comment made by my student. I didn't know where I was headed until this year. I now have a destination. Now all I need is a plan.