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Personal Statement Essay, Research Paper

Brendan Farrell

Personal Statement

In all circumstances a good academic record is desirable. There are, however, certain conditions in which I find learning is much more enjoyable. An instructor that is excited about teaching young people impacts the mood of the classroom in an astounding way. Students interested in learning make the environment more relaxed and give a feeling of anticipation, waiting for the next morsel of information to fall from the teacher’s tongue. Course material, which has relevance to everyday life or towards career goals is a quality that motivates the most; it gives one the chance to fully understand the material because one understands why the material must be learned. These are the main factors that motivate, they are not complicated to understand; they are complicated to implement.

Motivated teachers are few and far between. When one is found they must be cherished, because they can change your entire experience of learning. Sure they change the way in which you learn their area of expertise, they also can change the way one studies and how one looks at learning altogether. For example in my sophomore year at Berkeley High School, my biology instructor was very motivated. This not only showed in my demeanor in class, it also showed on my report card. The way this course was presented was, two to three times a week he would lecture for one and a half-hours. During this time every one in the class would write down every word he said. This sounds like a boring class, but in the time we were not taking notes he would always have and interesting and fun learning activity for us, that was relevant to the course material.

Students wanting to learn are just as important as teachers wanting to teach. The students control the mood of the classroom, and if the mood is not a very productive one nothing will be accomplished. One could have the most excited and competent instructor around, if the students are unmotivated it will show not only by the demeanor in class, but in the grades as well. For example in my American literature class, in the second semester a student-teacher replaced our teacher. This caused the students to become unmotivated, and it showed we couldn’t finish reading our books on time and the class average was a C+.

Course material that has relevance to every-day life or to a specific goal is very important. Without a reason to learn something people in general won’t. It’s human nature, if students can be shown why they must learn something the level of motivation will increase, the inverse of that statement holds true. For example in my Physics class one can see the relevance of studying this subject. Physics is relevant because it’s the law; it dictates what is possible and what is impossible. Another example of this is in Pre-Calculus, the general mindset in that class is “Well I don’t really understand why I’m learning this, but it will look good on college applications so “. This shows, in the class none of the students are motivated to learn the material, they simply memorize equations and where to stick the numbers. If the students were shown why they should be learning this material, they would either be more thorough in learning it, or they would not take the class.

Student motivation is very important. It can be affected by the motivation of teachers, if a teacher is motivated it will rub off on the students. If other students are not motivated then the overall motivation of the class is adversely affected. Course material is a very important determining factor in student motivation. If the course material is relevant student motivation will reflect that by being high.

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