Grades As A Motivation In School

Written by Diane Sievert
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Using grades as a motivation in school doesn't always work. Every year you teach, you're destined to get students who care desperately about their grades, students who care desperately about what their parents will do to them if they don't get good grades, and students who could care less. There are, however, various grading strategies that will motivate every group on that list, even the tough ones.

How to Effectively Use Grades as a Motivation in School

The first thing to acknowledge is using grades as a threat is only going to reach certain kinds of students. Students applying to college will be terrified of getting bad grades and students whose parents rule with an iron fist will likewise take heed. Consistent reminders that their performance in class will directly determine their grades will aid in motivating these students to learn.

Other students, however, won't pay the slightest bit of attention to that oft-repeated phrase: "Make sure you study because you don't want to fail!" Using grades as a motivation in school is a harder game to play with these students. The key to success here is positive reinforcement.

The students who are least likely to care about their grades in school are those students who have learned not to care as a coping strategy--they're used to doing poorly and have therefore adopted a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to grading time. Successfully using grades as a motivation in school for these students means giving them something to work toward. Starting the semester off with an easy assignment and showing them how easy it is to amass points will get them off to the right start.


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