Building Motivation through Teamwork
Christine Landry, Guidance Counsellor
As a guidance counsellor working at two high schools, I have the chance to see my students face to face every day. The role of the guidance counsellor in a school is to work on academic motivation, give meaning to studies, and promote perseverance through various projects (and not only to define a career plan). A student who cherishes a personal or professional project is much more likely to persevere.
Unfortunately, since the beginning of the school year, I have been getting a lot more referrals for “student demotivation”. What is exceptional is that it affects Secondary I students. They feel lost or have difficulty keeping up given the lack of benchmarks from the previous year. Another peculiarity of this year is that I am facing a shortage of motivational levers. Yes, there is also a shortage in this area! Activities, outings, and sports have practically been absent since students have been back at school. Fundamentally, school is a living environment and we are taking away an important part of what can motivate a student to attend school.
As for Secondary 3 to 5, part-time attendance and two report cards counting for 50% cause a lot of anxiety among teens for future college enrollment. Not to mention our vulnerable students, or students with disabilities, adjustment difficulties or learning difficulties who are most at risk. Yes, I am worried about school dropouts, just like all school staff who bring it up every single day.
While juggling environmental stress, new technological tools and student perseverance with few resources, it feels a lot like we have to also reinvent ourselves. I think that it is even more important to work as a team. This is the strength of our schools and I believe in it!