Perhaps the equilibrium quantity that drives classroom relationships is the desire to do the least amount of work. Students, like the rest of us, have only 24 hours in a day and don't want to do more work than they have to, and I don't want to do their work for them. But it is my job to get them to do the kind of work that leads to meaningful learning -- once I figure out what kind of work that is, anyway. So if I've got to "get them to do work," I can go about this a few ways.
1. Make it easy to do.
2. Give grades, extra credit, additional points, candy, homework passes for following directions.
3. Hold them accountable, ask them to show their work on paper, in presentations, in conversations, demand to see evidence of what they've done and learned.
4. Make it rewarding with a sense of accomplishment, challenging and yet satisfying.
5. Make it relevant, real world, problem based learning, authentic assessments.
Some of these are easy, and some of these are hard. But everyday these are some of the choices I make, the ways I try to lead students to learning. I hope I make the choices that lead to meaningful learning and not the ones that waste students' time.