You should read some works by Alphie Kohn. He is a former educator who writes about building your class into a working community without the use of rewards or punishments. You talked about the student with the behavior chart and if he did good, his grandma would give him a prize. The drawback to this approach is that the kid will associate good behavior with a prize, and in the future when the prizes don't come when he does something good, then he will either be confused or get upset. It's Pavlov's dog. Will the student really understand the benefits of making good choices or is he merely making good choices to get the prize?
Thanks for the comment! I have read and watched many of the books and videos by Alfie Kohn and I almost completely agree with the all lectures he writes and speaks about, my particular favorite is the article, "The Case Against Competition." Forgive me for not clarifying in my blog about this particular student: It was a very special case in which this child had very strong emotional problems and we needed to intervene with the family. Without going into the private details of the matter, he was emotionally disturbed and could not, would not listen or behave in school or at home. Since the intervention (in October 2009), we have seen a huge difference in behavior and have changed how we "deal" with him. He is now in class all day and does not receive a daily reward from grandma. I think just the fact that he saw different teachers throughout the day using the same "system" as well as seeing that same "system" at home showed to him that there was a network of people who cared about him and helped to calm him and bring him around again. Meeting this child today, you would not know of the situation that caused him to behave the way he did. I do not believe that teachers should have a system in place that is compensatory to behavior - all students will eventually see through this system and allow for further behavior issues.
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