There is a balance that needs to be struck with children so that we are justly rewarding them in a way which avoids them not appreciating the gesture properly. Too much or too little praise can be equally harmful to kids so it is one of the hardest tasks of anyone dealing with them to get this right. Failing to do so could lead to unhappiness or children acting like they’ve been spoilt.
Rewarding Children as a Teacher
When it comes to being a teacher of infants or young children how you react to children’s achievements can make a big difference to how they will react to you. In addition to this it can wholly change their outlook and attitude in school. Often if children do not have their accomplishments adequately recognised then they can start to apply themselves less or feel frustrated. So what are some of the good ways to reward children in a school environment?
One highly beneficial thing to do is to reward group achievements. For example, if everyone passed the most recent test, no matter what grade they received it will be an opportunity for you to dish out some form of acknowledgement of their work without singling anybody out. This sort of thing can actually end up making the children work closer with one another and feel more together. This subtle shift can have quite profound knock-on effects and lead to greater cooperation in future.
Visual Indicators of Performance
Whilst it is very useful to use the above principle of rewarding the group rather than individuals the latter should not simply be discounted. Picking out higher performers should be done to a degree because they will understand that their efforts have been noticed. Something as basic as a gold star chart or another method of measuring targets succeeded can be a great way to do this. The chart when displayed can even act as a way to build friendly rivalries and healthy competition if managed correctly.
Awards, Badges & Trophies
Many children hold a lot of pride when receiving awards and such items. Consider ideas such as merit badges for stand out behaviour. Use trophies and awards to promote the less tangible successes such as ‘most improved’ or ‘hardest working’ rather than simply just who was academically highest in the class. This will allow others to experience the pleasure rather than thinking they will always miss out. Do this with sporting activities too. You can buy trophies online and by making use of their engraving services get all of your cups and prizes individually addressed to the recipients. This extra personalisation will go a long way to boosting their effectiveness.