I’ve read the book and understand the point of internal being more important that external. However, I teach in a self-contained class with kids that are moderately cognitively delayed. I will have kids with autism and some with oppositional defiant disorder too. They will not have internal motivation for a while (they CAN get it, for sure, but I do worry about the meantime.) Currently I use a level system and there are privileges on each level. I’ve also been reading DWS and Love and Logic just to help me pump up the positive and put more responsiblity on the students. I already do this stuff quite a bit, and it is the way I raise my own children.  Any thoughts or suggestions?


I want to encourage you in your efforts with challenging students! I think you seem very realistic about your teaching situation and are not going into this naively. You understand that it will naturally take longer for your students to become self-disciplined; each one has special needs. Nonetheless, you see the value in going this more challenging teaching route.  Your students are bound to greatly benefit from your vision and patience! I take my hat off to you!

If you already raise your own children from the belief that it’s far more beneficial to be internally motivated in life (as opposed to thinking the world should prompt you into action or that you should receive something from  others as a result of your actions,)  you are probably able to see that “steps in the right direction” are incredibly valuable.  Best wishes!