What if it doesn’t work?

The lizard at work. Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash.

What if you do all this – change your curriculum, make everything project-based, convince coworkers and bosses that this is the way to go – and it doesn’t work? Students are still unmotivated, and still refuse to do their work. Even if it’s a project they’re interested in. What happened?

They’re afraid.

This is the lizard brain at work again, and they must learn to shut it up.

“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work.”

Steven Pressfield

Students, and everyone else that does important work, are constantly being told they will look stupid. They will mess it up. Other people are better than them. They should put it off for one more day. These are the messages of the resistance, the voice of our own lizard brain.

Quieting the lizard is just a skill

Along with all the other important things you are teaching about subject matter and teamwork and project skills, you also need to teach how to quiet this voice. How to ignore the lizard brain. Teach your students this, and they will be able to do anything. It is the only way forward.