Bribery ... It Doesn't Always Work

Now, any education professor will tell you that you are not supposed to bribe your students. Most times, I don't; the reward for doing well should BE doing well.

But I thought I'd try something.

My students are not allowed to eat or drink in class. It's because of my fear of roaches, but also because I just don't like the mess, or the crunching of Cheetos, or the crackling of foil bags, or the fact that I get papers with potato chip residue all over them. It's just gross, okay?

I told my speech class today that if they made, as a class, an average of 80 on their test, they could eat and drink in class all next week. We'd reviewed for the test during the last class, and I did a very short review with them right before the test. Class average: 73. (This is even after I curved it).

I set my study skills class's standard a little higher, at 90, since we have been reviewing for a solid week, and they only had to memorize ten words and definitions. They had five minutes in class to look over their words, which is something I never let them do, so I was pretty much setting them up to succeed. Class average: 81.

I feel that it is only fair to offer the same opportunity to the remainder of my classes. But if it doesn't work, I'm gonna have to tell my college professors that they were right, and frankly, after several years of teaching, this would be the FIRST THING they told me that would be applicable in an actual real-life school setting.

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