Classroom Reward Strategies for Boosting Student Confidence

5 Classroom Reward Strategies for Boosting Student Confidence

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Classroom Reward Strategies

Confidence is the key to success for students, as it helps them in their academic and personal growth. One popular method used to boost students’ confidence has been around for a long time: acknowledging students and giving them rewards for their performance.

However, traditional classroom reward systems can be controversial to some extent. It has been seen that external rewards provide short-term benefits, but they can make students less likely to do specific tasks unless they are given a reward.

It is important to restructure the reward system to ensure that, after receiving rewards, students will love learning instead of just loving the reward. Long-term student achievement is the outcome when students are motivated from within. Educators should be mindful of the rewards they choose to ensure intrinsic motivation in students.

There are a few steps educators can take to make rewards more effective:

1. Promote reward for the process not the end goal:

The reward system will be most effective when students are clear about the goals they are supposed to achieve to earn the reward. Teach students to set measurable and achievable goals so they can feel more optimistic about achieving a reward.

Goals should be set with tasks and activities, so students can be more mindful of the steps they need to take and how it will benefit them. This way, students will be more focused on tasks than rewards and will be more learning-centric rather than reward-centric.

2. Include students in reward selection and enforcement:

Choosing rewards is an essential step to ensure the effectiveness of the rewards system. Keep in mind that rewards should be age-appropriate, so they can boost confidence in students according to their age, for example, extra playtime for young children.

If the goal requires considerable effort from the students, the reward should match it. If students spend a significant portion of the day working on science projects, a reward of 5 minutes of extra computer time should be assigned.

Teachers should allow students to participate in choosing rewards. Teachers can provide clear guidelines for intrinsic rewards. It will help students brainstorm and be confident about their desired behaviour.

3. Use verbal rewards frequently, enforce non-monetary rewards:

Praising is one of the most effective and intrinsic forms of reward. Giving rewards that do not bribe students and motivate them from within can be a challenging task. Praising a child for completing goals, homework, and positive behavior can boost confidence.

Teachers can recognize students’ efforts. For instance, they can read aloud a written answer or an essay of a fellow student in front of the class. A “Well done” can be used to praise them.

To praise, teachers can use gestures like eye contact and shaking hands. Teachers should praise the act and keep the praise words subtle, so instead of being competitive, other students will feel motivated from within to develop similar behaviour.

Also Read: 5 Mental Health Tips For School Leaders


4. Display appreciation using symbolic rewards:

Teachers can use symbols as rewards that can motivate students for a long time. Commonly used symbolic rewards include stars, color badges, or a special place to sit. Teachers can create badges with specific titles, such as “Clever,” “Honest,” and “Academic Star,” and allow students to wear them for a week after a good performance or the achievement of a goal.

Teachers can display photographs and names of students with their achievement descriptions on the bulletin board of the school. Symbolic rewards operate similarly to praise, as they are public demonstrations in favour of students and they can last longer than a single spoken statement. They can serve as a reminder for other students to maintain good behaviour and achieve their goals.

5. Include skill enhancing activities in rewards:

Activity-based rewards help students learn, stay engaged, and be task-centric. They also boost students’ confidence as they learn new skills, such as leadership skills, while earning rewards. For instance, becoming a monitor for a week, leading a team during activities, being a teacher’s helper, getting the opportunity to decorate the blackboard, becoming a homework helper, or being a paper collector.

Teachers can make rewards fun and joyful by including fun activities, extra games, or playtime. They can also provide students with the opportunity to showcase their extracurricular talents in class as a reward.

There are many benefits of a reward system that can motivate students. Rewards improve students’ behavior. The feeling of pride and achievement makes students happier and boosts their confidence. Acknowledgment improves self-esteem, and students tend to show better academic achievement and are more likely to complete their tasks.


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