Demotivation story for Amy Boyle

Mar 26, 2015 • Amy Boyle

Growing up I was always involved in school plays, and was very intersted in acting. So I was very excited that I could actually take theater as a class in high school. Unsurprisingly, participation was a large part of this class, and I thought I was doing a decent job contributing to class practices. However, I got the impression that the instructor was being more critical of my performances and other work than others, but I figured I just had more room for improvement (although it wasn’t clear where).

At the start of the next semester, the teacher created a new seating assignment. The class was held in a small auditorium, and the class was seated in the first few rows of class, except for me. I was to sit by myself with rows of empty seats between me and the rest of class. When I objected she told me that my behaviour was distracting to the other students. Well, sitting on my own for a semester totally alienated me, and I lost all interest in the class and subject. Particularly since this teacher was in charge of the entire drama department, including school plays, so I decided I wouldn’t have anything further to do with drama/theater.

What could have been done? If my participation was somehow disruptive to class, she should have given guidance of how I should be participating. Excluding me from class without warning made me feel like a hopeless case. Also, feedback on work could have been more contructive, instead of just “Be more realistic”, tell students how they might achieve that.