One of the most common questions I receive from people has to do with rewarding students. In fact, a common thinking is that it is necessary to reward students to do what you would like them to do. Additionally, most people still compare rewarding students with adults receiving a paycheck to do a job. But the two concepts are completely dissimilar.
For working adults, money is a satisfier—not a motivator and not a reward. Your compensation is a binding contract between two entities. “You do this task and I’ll give you this much money.” If either party fails to do their part, the contract can immediately end. Either you quit the job (if you don’t receive your income) or you … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Many teachers and parents reward good behavior in students with stickers, prizes, and even food. I see this occur at schools, at homes, and especially out in public.
Do you routinely reward good behavior? If so, I urge you to stop the practice today. Why? Offering rewards is a behavior modification approach to mold desirable behavior directly—without rooting it in ethical behavior, such as whether the behavior is right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, moral or immoral. This approach operates at the lowest level of moral judgment, which is that behavior is good because it is rewarded.
When I speak with parents and teachers, I often hear the stories of regret in terms of rewards. The narrative … >>> READ MORE >>> →
No matter what you call it or how you disguise it, rewards cause problems. Those who have followed my blog for any length of time or who have read any of my books know that I am a proponent of the fact that rewards don’t work.
Here is yet another real-life example that proves my point that rewards cause problems. You may find the following story disturbing enough to share it with others:
The elementary school hired a substitute during the absence of the regular teacher.
Upon returning from lunch, a student asked the substitute if the class had earned a star to put on the bulletin board for the quiet way in which the class had returned. The substitute … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Here is a communication I received from a teacher that is definitely worth sharing about discipline and rewards.
“I am a fourth grade teacher who desperately wants to move away from students only working for rewards that is the nature of the discipline ‘behavior plans’ at my school. After implementing a few of your strategies in my classroom, I am pleased with the way my students have responded. Because I, and all their previous teachers, have used rewards, I am unsure how they will react if I do away with all tangible rewards.”
Use principle two, CHOICE, of the three principles to practice.
Rather than stopping the use of rewards, give your students the CHOICE. It sounds … >>> READ MORE >>> →