Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ironic Incentive

Jackson was excited after school one day this week.

"I got a real gem today.  For hard work." 

His teachers have an incentive system where a check mark is earned for diligently working in class.  After 50 checkmarks are accumulated, the student can choose a prize.

Jackson reached 50 marks and chose as his prize a green piece of glass, which he thinks is a real emerald. It is, I must say, kind of cool looking.

Ten minutes later we are looking at his spelling list for the week.  He only has half of the words written into his planner. I ask him why the rest aren't there.

"I didn't get them all written out"

"How come?"

"Well" he said with remarkable forthrightness, "I was distracted by my emerald."

I am not sure that is the way the incentive system is supposed to work.

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