For those who have been reading, I would like to thank you. For those who just started following or reading the blog, I would like to give you a little background on me as an educator. I am entering my 21st year as an educator, and during this time, I have tried to keep a history of my teaching, but for a number of reasons, it has not been a success. This year, I have a motivator – it will be an objective for my evaluation. This will not be anything fancy, just a collection of events and thoughts of my day. Also, this will not be proofread, so hopefully you will not judge, but rather have a better understanding of my journey as an educator and person.
Rewarding students for following directions, listening quietly, walking, helping others, or any other act of citizenship is GOOD, but it worries me as well because it could be BAD. I understand all about positive reinforcement and not wanting to hurt kids’ feelings, but in the BIG BAD WORLD OF LIFE, all of these positive methods are sometimes hard to find. The goal of course is to get students to work hard in their youth, so that it will carry over to their adult lives, but if we don’t have any kind of reward system when they get older, it may not work.
Yes, I know that kids don’t all have the “perfect” environment, and it’s important for educators to help guide students, but I still worry that we are “tricking” them while they are in our care, which will lead to bigger obstacles they will not know how to face when they reach adulthood.
Educators want to “fix” all of the problems, but sometimes it’s best to give students tough consequences so they will learn at an early age. I’m not suggesting the “a firing squad” or anything, but the word “NO” or having a student not participate will not do that much damage to a kid if it’s done in a consistent manner followed by an explanation.
Once upon a time, I did a positive reinforcement chart with all of my students, but in the end, I was doing the majority of the work, and the students were sitting back waiting to get “tickets” for doing what was expected of them as students. This type of management worked, but it was temporary. After deciding to end the behavior program after about 10 weeks, I found some students had sincerely changed their behavior, but others didn’t.
What if we let students know exactly when they are wrong and how they can fix their mistakes? Would that make a life long differences? Would kids see the effects of their actions as being good or bad? Would they be able to make their own choices without conformation of doing “good?” I don’t know …. a society of individuals always seeking a reward makes me think what kind of adults we are developing.
Is that GOOD or BAD?