Sunday, November 28, 2010

What is an A worth?

As the first half of the school year winds down, I have a some students that are anxious to bring their grade up in my class. They have come to me asking for extra credit assignments to comp,eye over the weekend. When I asked them why the have this sudden urge to bring their B up to an A, all of them (8 students) said their parents promised some type of monetary reward. 

Growing up, I had friends that were rewarded for good grades. Some received $20 per A. When I asked my parents about this sweet deal, they laughed and said getting good grades is an expectation. They do not pay me to do something I'm expected to do. 

At the time, I was annoyed by their answer. I worked hard in school and thought I should be rewarded for that hard work. In sitcom like writing, my reward was a solid work ethic that payed off in college and in my career. Some of my friends that were paid for their graded had a hard time finding motivation once the cash flowed stopped. 

Education needs to be a priority for students. Students should want to learn because it important. Giving money to children for good grades is sending the wrong message. Cash incentives will only get kids to work hard enough. They will not learn, they try to get A's. 

Fight the urge to reward students with money. If a child is doing well, reward them with more responsibility. Reward them with the positive attention it deserves. When I create an awesome lesson for school, I do not get cash. I get a "job well done" from the boss. The results of hard work are the best reward. That is what kids need to learn.