Incentives and Motivators - What Motivates You?

smiley face stickers
Incentives and motivators are key components to the learning process. When I am preparing to take part in an all-day in-service, I appreciate when the administrators provide breakfast or special treats throughout the day. I know that I am more likely to learn new things when I am motivated, and kids are no exception. While intrinsic motivation is strongly encouraged in the school setting, incentives and motivators can be rewarding and used successfully for teachers and students.
When establishing classroom routines and norms, planning what incentives and motivators you will use during the year will help create a classroom community that is focused on learning. Classroom supplies such as motivational stickers and pencils can be rewards for students who successfully meet their goals. This creates motivated learners and happy teachers. In addition, incentive charts can be used to monitor behavior and academic progress. You can determine if you are going to use these items on an individual basis or for everyone in the class.
Awards or certificate can be meaningful to students and their families. Use them periodically to recognize students when they do a good job. My mother still has many of the certificates I received throughout my school career. Recognition is a powerful motivator. Think about all of the awards ceremonies you have attended.
So you know that you want to motivate your students, but you are wondering what your incentives you should choose. Well, ask your learners. Buy-in is very important. I believe that students need to be part of this decision. One easy way you can find out what motivates the students is by conducting a class survey. It is amazing how influential peers can be. As the teacher, you need to create excitement about the rewards and recognize the individuals who meet their goals.
What are your favorite incentives? Please share your ideas with us and visit us at!