Our topic of the week is rewards and reward systems.
Stimulated by a question from a listener, Chris, Paul starts by outlining his suggested 5 key principles of a good reward system:
2. It’s not what you give but the way that you give it – the system itself isn’t necessarily critical, it’s how staff operate it
3. Make the reward system simple to operate – it must be simple enough to fit in with the rhythm of the teaching of the busiest staff e.g. if you have to log into a computer between lessons to use the reward system then you are storing up work for yourself because it doesn’t fit in with the pace you need to be working at – this leads to teachers using their own, simpler systems rather than the consistent school one
4. Make the reward system personal – personal praise which is sincere and rewards students for going over and above is one of the top three things learners say they want – the danger of using a technological system for rewards is that it can take away the personal touch
5. Recognition beats material rewards every time – the tiny moments of appreciation and feeling valued are far more important to the majority of learners than raffle tickets to win an iPad at the end of term which distances the reward far too far from the behaviour to be effective
Pupils need to know what the rewards are for – strange as it may sound. Too many reward systems reward by default . For example, some systems are set up so that every lesson you get a point unless you are badly-behaved and have the point removed. If points are available to everyone who is ‘good’ for the whole week and they earn a prize…
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