Gen Z Voices: When it comes to motivating students, Ava Conley has some ideas for teachers

· Feb. 8, 2023, 4:40 pm
Ava Conley in the CPR News studios Nov. 14, 2022.

Imagine sitting in class bored out of your mind as the teacher drones on and on. We’ve all been there. And it’s a scenario captured perfectly in the 1986 classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

It’s a scene that still resonates today. And Ava Conley, a sophomore at Legacy High School in Broomfield, recalls her own similar experience. 

“One day I was sitting in class and my teacher asked a question. My classmates and I all just sat there,” she said. “We stared at the wall or at the ground and we wondered who’s going to answer that question. Well none of us did.”

That is until the teacher offered up candy as a reward. Finally, hands went up and students were eager to answer. This later led Conley to research different ways to motivate ourselves and others. What she found out changed her perspective about what teachers can do to keep students engaged and learning.

Conley shared more last year during a talk titled “Nurturing Motivated Learners” at a TEDxYouth at Cherry Creek event. 

The next TEDxYouth at Cherry Creek event will take place March 4.

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