Putting on your Octalysis glasses:
I spoke with Judit as part of our ongoing Hidden Gems podcast for Octalysis Prime, where we believe everyone has a story.
The reason I’m writing this post is for 2 reasons:
- My conversation with Judit inspired me
- The recording of our conversation was lost
Judit is a primary school teacher in Hungary, where she has taught young students through high school for 27 years.
She has studied and tried many methods of teaching. Kids change, she said, so you need to stay with them, or ahead of them if possible.
She experienced burnout last September and last summer.
But she didn’t give up
In her search to level up her classroom experience, she found gamification.
As I tried to use a gamification classroom and I put on my Octalysis Glasses, EVERYTHING changed, somehow I saw more clearly WHY my students do what they do and how they can be motivated!
I regret the loss of our recording here, since Judit’s enthusiasm touched me across the internet.
“It works, it is magic, but it really works.”
Judit went on to share that she felt she was really terrified of her objectives with the groups of students in the school at the beginning of her journey.
I was anxious and worried last September because I knew I had to teach groups of difficult students with behavior problems, missing or disabled learning skills, who are quite undermotivated in learning Maths or English as a second language. I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation or what to do, where to start the work with them… That was terrifying for me!
But, during these months, she experienced a transformation as she tried new things and approached her students differently.
Remember, Judit had already taught for 27 years and had constantly stayed at the cutting edge of pedagogical technique and theory.
Applying gamification to the classroom
But in applying gamification to her classroom, she says
I became one of the most successful and loved teachers…students are always around me and in the breaks, they find me in the classroom and I can’t go out because they want to talk with me.
That wasn’t all.
One more thing, I shared with them my passion about the games, I started to play League of Legends 2 years ago, and I wasn’t shy this year to share about this with my students, and we also play together, we stay at school on Friday afternoons in a classroom to play that multiplayer game. As they have more time to play on weekdays than me, they tell me about their successes, and matches, relate strategies at school and compare experiences in the game with me.
Judit has also used ClassDojo and ClassCraft to assist this overall mindset and change to her approach.
The most important is I haven’t changed the teaching material, I teach the same, but I’VE changed, what I do and HOW I do it, that’s what has changed.
She also shared she is less strict and more flexible.
She has gained confidence because she knows there is behavior science allowing her to choose more confidently which method to use with the students and HOW to use it.
This sounds wonderful, so I asked Judit to share a specific example.
She said that when she put on her Octalysis Glasses, the following happened.
She was able to form another mood in classroom around mathematics.
Normally, students were bored with or struggled through it.
But after trying something new, she entered the class to find a din of discussion and problem-solving. It brought a smile to her face.
Judit also explained she has tested and built her own customizations of tools like Class Dojo and Class Craft, and would like to share those with other educators.
I want to thank Judit for an inspiring and useful discussion.
I hope both of our journeys with Octalysis and striving to understand and help people will continue for a long time.
More from Octalysis Prime members…
Here’s what Judit had to say about Octalysis Prime: