Email this pageEmail This Page

Behavior: do you use rewards poorly?

Date: February 22nd, 2017
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: Is it a bad thing to give rewards? No, not necessarily. But rewards are best when you don’t expect them, and when we can internalize them. I’m going to throw something out here and ask you to think about this.

If you work in a system where you are giving out different types of coins, clips, bonus bucks, whatever it might be, and kids get to cash those in, why can’t they cash them in for something that can be more community based, more internally motivating?

Things like special lunches with the teacher, a special job in the community, helping the custodian plant some flowers out in the garden. Why does it have to be from the treasure box?

If we want our cultures to get better and we want our kids to be excited about coming to school like, “Yeah, I can’t wait to get to school,” how are we going to get there if we don’t have them be part of our school?

I think with external rewards, there are ways that we can help to make them successful. We just have to think more about what we are cashing them in for.