Guiding my students by rewarding desired behaviour

So far, the candy and hot drink reward system has been working! There has been a decrease in undesired behavior, such as lates, being unprepared and off- task behavior, from my grade 10 and 11 students.  I’ve had a handful of students fill out a sticker chart (25 stickers total) these past few weeks!

I’ve been wondering if the stickers are a reasonable justification to their peers for them working hard?  When I was student and attended school from grade 8 to grade 11…it wasn’t cool to get good grades.  Perhaps it was the group of people I associated with.  Maybe my attitude would have been different if I hung out with a different crowd.  Fitting in was more important than passing school.  But once grade 12 rolled around, pretty much everyone was working hard to get their high school diploma.  Graduation, photos, rings, a dress or tux?  Everyone wanted that!  Since graduation is still far for many of my students,  this sticker system will have to do.  Who seriously doesn’t sugar or a hot drink?  The long term reward of good grades may not get their endorphins going, but a short term reward will!  Obtaining my diploma and moving out of my parents house was a huge motivator.  For me, the spares and lunch now consisted of studying with my new group of friends and discussing the best strategies to recall and understand the information.  Motivation is kicking in for many of my students…which is a reward for me!!

The latest development in my class is to use the white board to record the math booklet and page that they are working on and to continue communicating with each student daily about their progress.  I’ve been making notes in my own booklet, but I think the white board will be better for everyone.  The course I am teaching is more like tutoring, as students at their own pace.  Today I told them that how ever many pages of homework they do that night they will get a sticker.  My students doing homework?  Now that would be progress on everyone’s part.

My students are creating goals and seeing the benefits of reaching them.  I have goals as well and high expectations.

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