So, my latest idea in the quest to engage students and get them to participate in their own education is something that I am trialing with my tutor group. I have a group of 18 year 7’s who are generally lovely, but like all children, can be a bit lacklustre when it comes to putting in any more than the minimum amount of effort.
Like most, if not all schools, we have a behaviour policy with reward and consequence pathways. The majority of my group finish each week with a positive number of points (after the negatives are subtracted from the positives), but there are a couple of exceptions. I have spoken to the individuals who are not always making the right choices when it comes to classroom behaviour, but it is not having quite the effect I would like.
So I have proposed a small competition. It began today, with 26 more school days in the year. The challenge is to accumulate 450 overall points as a class by the end of the school year. This was initially met with some gasps of disbelief, but when I explained that it was less than one point each per day, they are on board. I hope that they will all make an effort, as there is no chance that a couple of individuals can do this alone.
My hope is that some peer pressure might ‘encourage’ all students to try a little bit harder and also to support those students who find some lessons harder to stay on task in. If I can encourage my year 7’s to engage with their learning a bit more now, maybe they will continue to engage in years 8, 9, 10 and 11.
Will it work? Watch this space.