I arranged a meeting with English lecturer Holly Vass, and we talked about her job and student motivation
What she was saying was similar to Amela, she encouraged students to do what they were passionate about, so they enjoyed what they were doing.
‘I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do, and I think that’s how most first years come in here, its fair enough’
‘What I do with my students now is to take advantage of every opportunity they can engage with the university and the outside community, try to volunteer, to to be involved in the schools, try to be involved in societies, look out for placements, go speak to your APT and we tell them that you’ve come here to study language or literature, but all our courses are mandatory because we want them to get a taste, they may find, like I found that something that they didn’t realise, appeals to them more than what they thought’
She said that students should do a lot more with societies to make more contacts, it broadens their skills and gives them more confidence to do what they want to do. It’s a way of gaining experience inside the university campus. Students should take advantage of the opportunities in university because there won’t be as many available after graduation.
‘I’m still trying to find my own way, to figure out what I want to do’
Trying a lot of different things helped Holly to do something that she enjoys, but she is always looking for new things that give her enjoyment and more skills
‘It’s more than managing peoples aspirations, its managing peoples expectations’
Students have aspirations to be successful in a job that they enjoy, but their expectations need to be in touch with reality. Holly manages expectations and makes peoples goals more obtainable by teaching the path to get there instead of students expecting it will happen for them.
‘If you’ve got a BA, you don’t step into a good job, you work your way up, you find what you’d like to do’
‘Motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic, if you want to learn and better yourself, or whether your parents want you to do it’
It was interesting her saying about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. She mentions it as if you either have one or the other. As a lecturer you can develop motivation, but if you have someone who is extrinsic and they are doing what they are told instead of what they enjoy then you can’t teach them the opposite, the best thing to do is encourage them to engage with things outside the course to find a specific thing that they can make more interesting.
After the meeting, I took some photographs. I will post them on another blog post.