T. Briegel

We spend huge sums of money via professional development to upgrade teacher skills. Attendance at such learning opportunities is often, if not usually, required by the educational institution. Teachers attend, often reluctantly, and many spend their time grading papers, catching up on email, or even simply playing games to pass the time. Forced professional development is external motivation at its best or possibly worst. It depends upon the internal mindset of the attendee. Does he or she want to be there and why or why not?

After many years, even the most dedicated teacher needs renewal--not of skills, but mental attitude. What keeps the 30-year teacher on the job? What keeps the excitement going for the career teacher? How do these most experienced teachers motivate themselves and continue to make learning interesting for generation after generation of students? Does type of motivation change at different points in a career? This study explores such questions and offers specific, practical exercises to increase self-motivation developed after a review of motivational literature. Results of a survey study on teacher self-motivation to be conducted in early September 2013 with international teachers in a private school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will be discussed. Teacher evaluations of workshop activities will be shared. Those exercises that are deemed most productive will be included in the paper. An analysis of the activities that were not effective will be advanced.