The More You Learn The More You Earn: Motivational Methods That Teach Diplomas Deliver Dollars


student discipline blog

The More You Learn
The More You Earn:
Motivational Methods That Teach
Diplomas Deliver Dollars


workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsIn our down economy, it's now more true than ever: The more you learn, the more you earn. Your students need to know that now, rather than live out the reality of life in a rough economy without thatmagic piece of paper. More than ever before, a diploma is ticket of admission to this new millennium.

I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. I know that you are going to love these unexpected, attention-grabbing, motivational methods. We designed them to work when conventional approaches fail, and to convince even your most resolutely unmotivated students that without education, they can't even make it through the morning.

Exciting, New Motivational Methods


motivational poster 163This first intervention is so unusual and unexpected, that it can impact students when conventional methods fail. You can use this method verbally, as a poster, as a discussion starter, or as an activity. At left, you can see the intervention as a poster; it is Poster #163. It says:

Cap? Check.
Gown? Check.
High School Diploma? Check.
Pay Check? Check.
Every diploma is worth $329,000 more pay.



This next intervention works especially well with students who are unaffected by conventional motivational methods. We suspect that the reason that this stramotivating poster #4tegy is so effective is because it is a bit confusing at first. Students can't fight or resist information they don't yet understand– which is exactly why this strategy is so useful with very oppositional and negative students.

If some of your students can't discern the answer on their own,
engage other students to help them. This intervention works best as a discussion starter, but you can also use the intervention as verbiage or as a poster. At right is our Poster #4. The poster shows a picture of a diploma, and the caption says:

A piece of paper.
Your meal ticket.
What do you see?
Not sure?
Don't take a lifetime to figure it out.



motivational posterThis next intervention has endless variations.
The best, most powerful way to use this
strategy is to post this message on your wall.
The message is from Poster #128, and says" All Jobs Now Require a Diploma." Can you imagine the reaction you get when you post this poster in your classroom?

Let students express their dismay then call their attention to the tiny print at the bottom. That small print reads "Think this poster is scary? Try life without a diploma." This strategy packs a punch, but you can alter the approach to be almost anything your imagination can conjure
up. For example, "All Jobs Now Require Math…Computer Skills…
Writing Skills." Those versions and many more are in our Posters area.


Some students may believe they have ways to avoid needing a diploma. Welfare is often cited as a way to survive without education. Here's what these students need to know: Welfare still exists, but just barely, and it's days may be numbered entirely as the economy necessitates more cuts to government services. Share these facts: The number of people receiving welfare has been slashed by a staggering 50%. The time you can be on welfare is shrinking even faster. The amount of money you can receive is getting smaller. Some states have cut welfare by an amazing 90%. Illustrate these facts to students using play money. A good follow-up activity: invite local welfare officials to discuss with your class if welfare will definitely exist throughout students' expected lifetimes. Also discuss with students: How will you function without welfare and without a diploma and education? Also, ask students to name jobs they could do without a diploma or education, and to consider if those jobs will even exist.



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About Ruth Herman Wells

Author/Trainer Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. is the director of Youth Change Professional Development Workshops. In 2011, Ruth was rated as a Top 10 U.S. K-12 educational and motivational speaker by Speakerwiki and Speakermix. She is the author of several book series, a columnist, adjunct professor for two universities, and a popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Ruth's dozens of books includes Temper and Tantrum Tamers and Turn On the Turned-Off Student.