How Teachers Can Reward Their Students for Hard Work

Janelle Cox
Janelle Cox

In this day and age, when students are constantly engaged with cellphones and social media, it can be hard for teachers to put together an effective classroom management plan that can motivate and reach all students. Competing with tablets and other technological devices has proven to be a challenge, so that’s why many educators like to implement a classroom management reward system that will compensate students for their successes. The following are ways that you can reward students for their hard work.

External Rewards Can Help with Classroom Management

Teachers worldwide have been following the theory of Operant Conditioning by B.F. Skinner for decades. This famous theorist believed that behavior which is followed by an enjoyable result will likely be repeated. In other words, students are more likely to continue to work hard when they are rewarded for their achievements (however that may be). Many educators recognize and use rewards as a teaching tool because it works, and is an effective way to help with classroom management.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Many students are motivated by both intrinsic motivation – motivated by internal factors such as succeeding because it feels good, as well as extrinsic motivation – motivated by an outside factor such as doing well in school in order to receive a prize. As a teacher, you can create a classroom management plan that includes both internal motivation as well as external rewards. You can start by giving students an external reward for their hard work, then gradually reward less often as you help students become more effective at being intrinsically motivated.

Celebrating Student Success

There are many ways that you can celebrate student achievement and reward students for their successes in the classroom. While you may think that a tangible reward like choosing a prize from the prize box would be prove to be the most successful, many teachers are finding that non-tangible rewards have a positive impact on students. In fact, in my experience working with young children, I’ve found that giving students extra privileges like working in the hallway with a friend, running an errand for me, or eating lunch with me in the classroom to all be effective ways to reward students.

There are many other successful ways to recognize your students’ hard work and dedication to academia. For example, printing out a certificate of achievement shows students that you’ve noticed their hard work and are proud of their accomplishments. Displaying students’ work for all to see on a bulletin board or in the hallway is a great way to show students that their work has value. Also, praising students both in public and in private, as well as taking the time to showcase students and their work in front of their peers, are all effective ways to reward students for their hard work.

While keeping students motivated in an age where technology is around every corner, it is possible to recognize and reward your students’ effort, as well give your students some extra incentives and praise to keep them engaged and motivated.

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