Importance of classroom reward system in the school

Why is it important to have a classroom reward system?

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classroom reward system

Look at these examples:

Only drawing as homework!

Sit beside your best friend for a day!

5 stars in the star chart!……

Are these some of the reward ideas you use in your classroom? Great!

A teacher-student relationship is one that can be honed to be the best of its kind. A positive classroom environment, motivation to teach and learn, happiness in the classroom, and excitement to be in school are all hallmarks of a progressive and happy school, which is the dream of every school. One way to achieve this is through a classroom reward system.

Classroom reward system :

A classroom reward system is a method of celebrating student achievement and positive behaviour. It involves consistent efforts to bring out the best in students and motivate them to perform their best. Additionally, this system encourages teachers to become more engaged in the classroom. Rewards can include things such as sitting beside a best friend for a day or earning stars on a star chart for good behaviour.

Successful Reward system :

If the educator is seen to deviate from the stated rules for how students are rewarded, the children will lose confidence in the system and respond less frequently to the incentives.

Thus, to ensure consistency, educators must do the following:

  • set and explain goals, i.e. the behaviours you wish to see
  • explain how the reward system works to the students
  • be vigilant, fair and monitor behaviour that requires a reward
  • be consistent and liberal  in awarding rewards
  • give feedback with rewards
  • Ask for students’ opinions about the likes and dislikes of a reward system
  • Reduce the frequency and increase the difficulty level to secure rewards

Also Read: 5 Reasons Why School Infrastructure Is Important for A Child’s Growth

When to implement reward systems in school :

If there is a struggle with any of the following classroom issues, the school or classroom should consider implementing a reward system:

  • Failing scores
  • Incomplete assignments or homework
  • Low student motivation and interest
  • Chronic behaviour problems
  • Refusal to do work
  • Poor attention and focus
  • Students not getting along with one another

Why is it important to have a classroom reward system?

A classroom reward system is not a one-size-fits-all concept and should be customized to meet the needs of the classroom. Implementing a rewarding culture in classrooms is not mandatory, but it is a choice that can have many benefits. Note that there is no single or fixed system that can be successfully followed. Reward systems can be as different and as unique as a school’s innovative ideas and creativity. Having a reward system will definitely eliminate negative elements and benefit the school.

Some noted benefits of having a classroom reward system:

1. Appropriate behaviour 

 Students will adapt to appropriate behaviours when rewarded either intrinsically or extrinsically.

2. Increased motivation

Students will develop interest and increase their participation in everyday classroom activities, responsibilities, and learning. Classroom engagement of students will thus improve.

3. Joyful students

Rewards for students motivate them to become more productive.  It creates a feeling of pride and achievement and the result will be happy students.

4. Boosted self-esteem

With every reward a student gets he/she becomes more self-confident, proud, and also motivated to achieve another successful reward.

5. Completed homework

Reward systems help encourage students to complete and submit their homework on time. The National Association of School Psychologists suggests that it’s rather shocking that without rewards, students don’t complete it.

6. Academic improvement

Getting rewarded consistently builds confidence to do much better every next time. This leads to improved academic outcomes.

7. Helps students with special needs

A classroom reward system can benefit students with special needs. For example, Children with ADHD have trouble staying in their seats or completing assigned work. But they benefit from being rewarded for things that they do well.

8. Happier parents

When parents see their children performing better in school, they automatically will be happy. But when a reward system positively influences weak and not-so-good students turning them into improved individuals, parents’ fear and insecurities reduce, which is indeed a happy development for the school. 

9. Happier teachers

With reward systems in place and functioning successfully, a teacher’s health and psychological well-being also benefits. Teachers need not lose teaching time in setting behaviours in class and delivering effective teaching. Teachers will now not leave or switch jobs as a major reason for classroom management problems to get solved. All in all, a positive teaching-learning environment develops.

Types of Reward Systems in School

In the classroom setting, the recognition and encouragement of positive behavior play a pivotal role. A teacher can utilize a system of praise and acknowledgment, publicly commending students for their successes in academics, sports, or extracurricular engagements. Incorporating tangible rewards such as certificates or medals to commemorate their achievements is also a valuable strategy. Another effective method involves the implementation of a points-based system, enabling students to accumulate points for commendable behavior or accomplishments, ultimately leading to exclusive privileges or incentives. These personalized reward systems contribute to the cultivation of a positive and motivating learning atmosphere, nurturing a sense of achievement and promoting sustained effort.

Disadvantages of the Reward system:

1. Addiction

Students can become addicted to classroom rewards. This means that they might not study anymore without them.

2. Devaluation

Reward systems can utterly fail after a while as they are no surprises but come as expected. They will lose their effect.

3. Race against the clock

To win a reward students may start to focus on completing an assigned work instead of actually understanding it.

4. Control and manipulate

Students may end up manipulating and controlling things and telling lies due to greed for a reward. 

5. Increased pressure

The more the students are appreciated and rewarded, the greater might be the fall if they’re not consistent with their performance         

6. Bribes

There is a thin line between bribes and rewards. Rewards might become a means of controlling your students.

[Note: Rewards should be used as a representation of good work, achievement, etc, not as a Bribe to get things done. Also, rewards are not for simple things which need to be done anyway as a routine. Clear and standard goals should be established for students to reach or follow them. The consequences of bribing are momentary, as the student may not keep up the same behaviour or achievement in the long run. Rewards when given, consequences are long-lasting as they develop a genuine love for learning and carry a good attitude in the future too.]

The use of rewards within the classroom is a form of extrinsic motivation for students. It encourages them to participate cooperatively in academic and social learning experiences. However, what works for one teacher may not be the same for another. It’s important to try new and unique ideas of rewarding and share them with other teachers. Keep in mind that rewards also have potential downsides and it’s important to be mindful of these while implementing a reward system.


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