Each teacher faces the lack of interest in learning experienced by some children. How to turn a lesson to the joy of exploring the world? What methods and types of reward systems in classroom can a modern pedagogue use? The examples of building special relationships between pupils and teacher described below are aimed at solving the problem of school motivation.
Motivational rewards for students and rules of their use
Types of rewards at the school environment can be very diverse: support, praise, oral and written gratitude, responsible assignment, showing trust and admiration, caring and attention, forgiveness for misconduct.
Praise requires certain conditions for its application. Otherwise, your actions may be not pedagogical. In the manifestation of praise, the following rules must be observed:
- Praise should concern mainly efforts made and not what is given to a person by nature. Undeserved compliments arouse the envy of peers and set them against a teacher.
- You should not praise a pupil for the merits not supported by the group, even if it is the right behavior from your point of view. Such praise no longer awakes envy, but aggression. If only one student from the class prepared the homework, (a) compliment in his address usually opposes him to the group, although he is not guilty of anything. In this case, it is better to praise him tete-a-tete.
- There is always an informal hierarchy in each group. Some students are considered better than outsiders. This does not mean that the latest can’t be praised. But rewards should be motivated so they will gradually change the attitude of a group.
- Children attribute ‘favorites’ to the teachers very willingly and exaggeratedly. Pedagogues reasonably have pupils who are more pleasant for them. But rewarding students for achievements should take place in a suitable, adequate moment.
Types of disciplinary measures and reasons for their application
Penalties are manifested in public reprimands, estrangement from the public everyday life of the class, the teacher’s angry look, his condemnation, indignation, reproach or hint of it, an ironic joke.
To ensure the effectiveness of pedagogical punishment, the following rules should be observed:
- The punishment must be fair. It should not be applied under the influence of the teacher’s bad mood, but with full confidence in the student’s guilt.
- Reprimands are permissible mainly for various types of dishonesty, outright selfishness, aggression and active arrogance towards peers, bullying them. Penalties for laziness and bad academic performance are less ethical and effective because these shortcomings are most often the result of the underdevelopment of child’s will. In these cases, not punishment but reward systems for students should be applied.
- A special category is the confrontation of students with teachers when young people raise a deliberate opposition. This is a very complex situation. The ideal option is the teacher’s “zero reaction” to the bold tricks or irony of students. But it is simply unrealistic to demand this from modern educators. In such cases, punishments are appropriate in the presence of obvious guilt: rudeness, disobedience, etc. The teacher should try to answer the offensive subtexts with wise and calm disregard or more subtle irony but not outright spite. A radical solution is the elimination of conflict, reconciliation, improvement of relations with a teenager.
- You can’t build a punishment on the criticism of physical defects or any personal characteristics of the student. Unfortunately, teachers sometimes can’t resist the temptation to emphasize the child’s funny features. It is unacceptable to discredit parents in the eyes of the child.
- When punishing a student, the teacher must somehow show that his personal attitude does not change and the child has the opportunity to restore the good reputation.
- The public opinion of the group should be taken into account. If other children support the wrong action done by their friend, the punishment will be inconclusive and even may turn the punished person into a hero in the eyes of a group.
- If the punished is an ‘outcast’ or a ‘loser’, a group can gloat and aggravate the situation of the child who needs moral support. The principle of justice and equal treatment for all pupils must be replaced by the principle of humanity.
It is difficult to envisage all pedagogical mistakes in the use of punishments because they are closely related to the individual psychological characteristics of teachers. It’s better to avoid punishments at all.
The role of the marks
A mark is not an encouragement or punishment but a measure of knowledge. Any teacher is sensitive to the influence of his mark on students, feels those moments when it is possible to raise it a little to support and encourage the young people. In most cases, the intuition and benevolence of a teacher serve as good advisors, but we should point out some typical erroneous positions in assessing students:
- A teacher depreciates his marks by constant overstatement which occurs because of the softness of the character or weak knowledge of a subject. The ‘excellent’ mark of such an educator loses its stimulus function.
- A teacher is very stingy for good marks considering that this increases the level of knowledge. One could agree with this understanding of the role of the mark, but such pedagogues often overdo with strictness.
- Inertness in the evaluation of individual students, which acquires the character of a label or stigma. It is difficult for a person to break out of his reputation. For example, if his academic performance is on a middle level, a teacher is very reluctant to put the highest mark for a work that deserves it. Educator motivates it with typical professional phrases like ‘He probably ordered it at one of college paper writing services’. If the student makes efforts to switch from B to A, such a pedagogue is sure that a student can’t know everything perfectly, finds the opportunity to cut him down to size.
We hope that the tips described above will help you compile the right motivational strategy.