As I was relaxing this evening after another very long day at school, contemplating the special challenges of this year's students, I came across this article: The Day "Reward" Became a Bad Word.
I thought it was a great, thought provoking article, and something I've thought about many times.
Children should want to do the work we give them. They should have pride in what they do, and want to do well.
But they don't.
When I first started teaching, they did. But they don't.
When I was little, I did the work because I feared the consequences... the wrath of the nuns. When I got older, I did the work because I took pride in myself and wanted to do well. When I was in college, I did the work because I wanted to get a job when I graduated.
But not kids nowadays. They expect rewards. They expect stickers, toys, or treats. They want to get rewarded for doing the things children are expected to do, for doing what they're supposed to do.
But kids want to be rewarded. As I've mentioned in some other blogs, I reward mine with beanie babies. They get to keep one on their desk for the day. For something really, really great, they get to keep a flag on their desk.
I do avoid the big rewards. You know, the ones that cost money and time. I just don't have money or time. I give them beanies.
How do you feel about rewards? Do you reward your students?