Power of Bribary

I am in a state of shock right now.  I honestly can’t believe it!  I am a junior high health teacher and am currently sitting at the back of my worst class behavioral wise, listening to my guest speaker teach in complete silence.  My students are never this quiet, EVER!  They are all sitting quietly at their desk, no one is out of their seat, they aren’t making smart alec remarks, and they constantly look back at me to make sure that I know they are behaving!  Because they know, that i know that they are never this well behaved.  So I just stare back in disbelief. 

Yes, I had a nice long discussion with my class about being respectful for when the guest speaker comes and yes, I did bribe my class by teling them that I would bring some kind of treat if they behaved.  I also told them that if they didn’t behave they would be in BIG TROUBLE.  Quite the threat right?  So is their beavhior a result of a possible reward? Or was it my well thought out threat.  I think it’s the first. The power of a bribary is absolutely amazing.  If you can find something people really want you can probably get them to do just about anything to get it.  I just didn’t think students were so easily bribed with candy. Well, they are junior high students…. what else could they possibly want in life?

So what I have learned as a teacher is that rewards systems work, it just has to be the right reward.  Candy works wonders for students!  But I have a dllemma… this is a health class… and candy is not particularly healthy.  Should I try giving them carrots instead? I think sometimes you have to make sacrafices and I will gladly sacrafice their health if it means behavioral change.  I’d much rather have my students fat and quiet than skinny and abnoxious.  I’m totally kidding of course….  But I can’t say i’m not enjoying the peace and quiet…. in a class full of 8th graders.  Who would have thought this could happen?  I am still sitting in disbelief.

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