I had the pleasure of hearing you speak in New Orleans. Thank you for your encouraging words.
I am a fourth grade teacher who desperately wants to move away from students only working for rewards, which is the nature of “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 the students will react if I do away with all tangible rewards.
Use principle two, CHOICE, of the THREE PRINCIPLES TO PRACTICE of the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model.
Rather than stopping the use of rewards, give your students the CHOICE. It sounds like the following: “For those of you who still feel that I need to reward you for doing what you should be doing, let me know and I will do so. For those who believe that you are mature enough not to need such rewards, you will find your efforts so much more satisfying.”
Once students—of any age—understand the difference between Level C (EXternal motivation) and Level D (INternal motivation), they quickly realize that token rewards are given to manipulate them. They quickly lose interest in receiving such rewards.
The communication continued:
Do you think it is possible to make such large changes in my classroom late in the year? Or would I do better to make small changes this year, and start next year fresh without punishments and rewards?
The students only need to know the four levels of social development. You can teach the hierarchy in one setting by just sharing the vocabulary concepts and then having students give examples of what each level would look like in your classroom. Study the SIGNIFICANT POINTS of the Raise Responsibility System.