Carrots, sticks, and Wii – rewards still have their place.

@DanielPink – please don’t hate me.  Pink’s book, Drive, talks about motivation factors and how the carrot and stick are so 20th century.  I love this idea so much, I bought copies for every teacher in in my District.  Then, I come across the the scenario that no administrator wants to face: the student who does not want to come to school.

The student has had a myriad of issues that surely isn’t ideal by any means – family issues, frequent moving, and overall lack of stability.  All hands are on deck, and everything is fine once the student gets into the door.  It’s getting the student IN the door.  How can we?  What’s carrot on the stick?  An oldie but goodie in this Superintendent’s eyes: the Wii.

Child playing Wii

I made a deal.  Come to school and we’ll bowl on Wii.  Getting to that point was easy this time.  We both have a passion / addiction for video games.  We talked about every game known to man; the student thought I was pulling his leg about me liking video games, and then when I started naming characters, plots, and leveling up, the student was shocked.  The student also then let guard down and the conversation commenced.

We played for a good hour today; the student was relaxed and proceeded to class.  Hopefully on Monday we get to do it again.

So, yes, the Superintendent was sitting around playing video games today. I am proud to say I did; this carrot worked out just fine.


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