It took me some years of maturing as an educator before I realized how important hidden motives were in the lives of my students. Those students labeled "lazy" or "apathetic" rarely are. They have hidden motives. Sometimes they might not even recognize their own motives.
Uncovering motives is extremely important for any teacher or parent. Teachers and parents constantly have to try to figure out why students or children do what they do. This helps the teacher or parent understand how to react.
For example, imagine you are a parent and you are very busy one day and cannot play with your child. She starts to act very badly, making trouble. What do you do? Here is where understanding motivation is important. Perhaps your child feels that you are ignoring her and she wants attention. Maybe she is acting badly so that you will pay attention to her.
If you understand the motivation behind her behavior, you will have a better chance of responding properly to those behaviors. In this way, it is always important to try to figure out why your children act the way they do so that you can know how to respond.