I don’t usually use tangible rewards to motivate my kids because I’m afraid it will devalue their learning. However, I believe myP.6 kids are mature enough. For the final exam, I told them if they could get more than 10As I’ll treat them with coconut pudding made by me. Plus for Georgina, who has never got any As in her p.5 and 6 will be granted a Justin Bieber CD (She is a big fan of this Canadian singer) if she can get an A in the final exam. Surprisely, one of my kids, Lauren, thought that 10As are not enough. She said I should set a higher criteria — 15As. Impressed by her bold ideas, I reseted the criteria but deep inside my heart, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to send out the gifts. What if there are only 14As? Will I break my own promise because I really want them to be rewarded?
Set aside the fear, I tried to prastice more exercises with them – tenses, articles, adjectives, punctuation…you name it. I know having good marks in the exam doesn’t mean they can really master English, but trying our best to perform in the exam became the very last goal we were trying to achieve together.
I still remember the day when I got their exam paper. My muscle felt tense and my hands were shaky while marking. After almost an hour and a half, I quickly counted the number of As. One, two, three…and finally TWENTY!! Twenty As in my class! I wanted to cry out loud and run around the staff room like those footballers who score in the match! The happiest thing is that, Georgina, is one of the twenty A students.
Since at that time they were still having their Chinese and some other exams, I kept this news to myself even though they kept sending emails to ask me for the result.
On the day I gave out the paper, I acted real cool. I began by scolding them for the careless mistakes they had made in the exam. The kids looked disappointed, thinking they couldn’t get enough As. Then I continued by saying, ” I feel so sad …because I have to spend money buying ingredients for the pudding!” The class bursted into laugher when they knew they were fooled. Next, I squinted at Georgina sympathetically and said, “Poor Georgina…” She looked really despair and covered her face. And I continued, “You have to go to HMV with me to get the CD!” A gust of laughter and cheer arose in the crowd. That was one of the most unforgetable memory in my teaching experience!
Sticking to my promise: