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To find school rewards a bit rubbish

(41 Posts)
AverageHuman Mon 01-Apr-19 15:59:49

DS’s infant school give out stickers for exceptional behaviour every day. The kids all sit and listen every day to who gets praised. DS never gets rewarded. He is just generally good in all areas.
He’s got upset about it a few times and I’m not really surprised. It’s the same kids getting praise (as they are always doing exceptionally well with writing etc) but also others who are normally bad at listening etc but have made progress are also getting stickers.
AIBU to think it is a bit rubbish? Or should I just be helping him to find ways to go over and above what he’s already doing to get him a reward? He’s already exceeding in maths and reading but handwriting is not perfect and he’s not writing pages and pages of his own work yet.. i want to support him but not pressure him, how to find the balance?!?!

reallygrumpytonight Mon 01-Apr-19 16:04:32

I work in a school and verbally praise my class everyday! We also have other reward systems (I won't say in case as maybe too outing) but they can be rewarded for something as simple as helping or something which makes us proud like finally getting fractions for example. I think unfortunately some children are rewarded more as they try harder in everything they do but that doesn't mean to say all children can't be rewarded for something that is small to us but a huge deal to them.

AverageHuman Mon 01-Apr-19 16:09:59

Yes thank you. I can’t think of anything he would get praised for. You are probably right there, he doesn’t try particularly hard to progress compared to some and he’s not great at tidying or anything. But at the same time he’s upset for not being recognised for great listening and contributing, being kind etc every single day. Perhaps I’m being a bit mean and should just encourage him to be happier for his peers, I don’t know.

mummyof2boys30 Mon 01-Apr-19 16:15:02

My son's pre nursery did this. Looking back now I wish I had spoken up at the time. I drove home crying once over a sticker as everyone in the class got one except him. He since has been diagnosed with SEN and it's one of the moments I'm kicking myself for not sticking up for him

Inaquandry06 Mon 01-Apr-19 16:17:34

My ds school is the same, he’s consistently good with his work, his parents evening feedback is always ‘he’s doing great just carry on as he is’ hes only been in trouble for an argument once in 4 years.
His school do an end of week assembly where children who have been good for the week get celebrated....he’s been on it once in 4 years!
Just makes me sad that there’s no incentive to carry on working well sad

AverageHuman Mon 01-Apr-19 16:19:21

Oh no bless you. You have a diagnosis now and hopefully have better support. I bet you won’t let that happen again!

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Mon 01-Apr-19 16:20:29

that sounds a bit odd to me, at DD's school they get reward stars for any number of positives, but it's a highly inclusive school.

I would raise this at the next parent evening - if a reward system is causing children to feel unpraiseworthy then it's not working.

AverageHuman Mon 01-Apr-19 16:21:47

Yes inaquandry that’s it. DS has noticed it and gets upset. I just don’t know what to say or how much to encourage him to improve (even more than he already has). Has your DS said anything?

arethereanyleftatall Mon 01-Apr-19 16:23:43

This is likely going to happen his whole school life.
At our school the naughty kids get all the awards when they temporarily behave like all the other kids do all the time.
I just explained to my dc that these awards are just 'a teachers tool to help the badly behaved children.'

AverageHuman Mon 01-Apr-19 16:25:29

I agree WWWW. I recognise that this will happen at other stages of life where you constantly have to be striving to go over and above or you don’t get noticed (such as the corporate world!!!!), but it feels wrong.

AverageHuman Mon 01-Apr-19 16:26:19

Thanks arethereanyleft, good advice

FionnaMAC Mon 01-Apr-19 16:29:08

I just used to say, "But you know you've worked hard, don't you?"

If they could answer yes, then I'd say that that was the most important thing, and that I was proud of them for trying hard whether they got a sticker or not.

I think it's better to try and train them out of external rewards when it comes to education (obviously, now that they're grown I make sure they ask for the wages they're worth - especially my daughter -haha!).

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Mon 01-Apr-19 16:29:36

I don't agree with arethere, that is certainly not my experience of DD's school (she's now in Year 4). Different teachers have used these in different ways but DD chugs along pretty well and has frequently got rewards stars and certificates and whatnot.

DreamInDreamer Mon 01-Apr-19 16:30:30

Sometimes the children who just quietly get on with everything slip under the radar. The confident/ show off kids are seen and heard and some children learn to make sure the teacher sees what they do. My DS's friend used to go up to the teacher and say I've just done x y z, can I have a 'point' please.-- and he'd get one.
I like the children who quietly get on with being good and clever. They usually turn out to have good self discipline and self motivation, not requiring too much external input.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 01-Apr-19 16:31:26

The irony is, as a teacher (albeit just a swimming teacher), I find myself doing the same thing! If a child who disrupts the class every single time, suddenly behaves, I want to sing from the roof tops with joy, as I can get so much more done (for everyone) in the lesson. They do get praised as I want them to do the same the next time.
I see it from both sides.

NeverSayFreelance Mon 01-Apr-19 16:31:37

Ah yes, the classic "you're usually a noisy little so-and-so but today you were quiet for 10 minutes so here's a reward" whilst all the consistently well behaved kids get nothing.

Keep reminding your DS that he is doing great, and he doesn't need stickers to prove it thanks

PrincessConsuelaBananahamm0ck Mon 01-Apr-19 16:33:02

Our junior school is a bit like this. Certain pupils who excel seem to be favoured and get numerous awards. Others who are maybe average/just above average/excelling but just get on with their work, are pleasant, behave well but are maybe a bit quieter and less assertive/showy get rewarded much less often than the favourite excelling kids. But also much less often than the consistently badly behaved kids who often seem to get rewarded for behaving well on any given day (ie. they managed to go a whole day without punching someone or ransacking the cloakroom).

AverageHuman Mon 01-Apr-19 16:41:36

He is actually quite outgoing and confident normally. The teacher would probably prefer he was quieter! He loves to please so probably would be trying to get attention sometimes. He doesn’t understand why he’s not getting any at all so I would like to help him to get more positive attention or be ok with not getting it.

loubeylou68smellsofreindeerpoo Mon 01-Apr-19 16:43:10

Both my dc are average in school, they try hard but don't get recognition for it. It never bothered dd but ds broke his heart over being overlooked. He was only ever acknowledged when I had a quiet word with the teacher. The kids who were naughty were always getting rewards and he noticed. Now in secondary he has stopped trying.

Superfragile Mon 01-Apr-19 16:45:07

The forgotten middle, no extra help /stickers/treats. The super bright and the feral kids get awards/stickers and extensions or catch up work. Joe Bloggs who quietly goes about doing all that is asked of them causes no problems is often overlooked. It's does annoy me.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 01-Apr-19 16:55:18

A teacher friend of mine,once confided in me that she felt really bad but often 'hello Emily' at 9am and 'goodbye Emily' at 3pm was her only interaction with Emily. (A quiet well behaved doing fine child).

AverageHuman Mon 01-Apr-19 16:59:35

This is so depressing to read! I don’t know how to help him and we have years and years left of school. Maybe I just need to find things outside of school he can do that is more directly linked with the personal progress he makes.

elliejjtiny Mon 01-Apr-19 17:02:49

My son is one of those consistent all round children and he recently got certificates for 100% effort and for taking part on the inclusive sports team.

gingerbiscuits Mon 01-Apr-19 17:04:10

I work in a Primary School & 100% agree that lots of the 'generally good, just get on with it' kids get overlooked constantly! We have so many kids receiving rewards & treats etc all the time for just doing what all the other kids do anyway, every single day, without fail. Drives me nuts!! Had a kid able to choose a fun activity at the end of the day today as a reward for making it through the day & NOT being rude & refusing to do his work FOR ONCE!! Where's the incentive for the lush kids who ALWAYS do their work & wouldn't dream of being rude?!

Punxsutawney Mon 01-Apr-19 17:13:05

I have come to the conclusion school rewards don't work at all. My Ds has possible SEN and is currently being assessed. He has very low self esteem. He is at secondary school and they use an achievement point system.

Ds struggles to communicate and is pretty much invisible to all staff. Interestingly he is academically very able and has no behaviour problems. The school is a grammar so has low SEN and very few children that come from difficult backgrounds. He vey rarely gets any achievement points but always hands homework in and often does well in tests. He sat through a celebration assembly last week when all the kids in the year that disrupt his learning and cause constant behaviour issues gained their gold and platinum awards. He does not even have bronze.

I know it is very petty but he has absolutely no self belief because of his SEN and for someone to notice the effort that he makes and to acknowledge the difficulties he faces would really help. I've given up trying to tell the school about this now, we have too many other battles to fight with them.

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