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By Shira Muroff, ISJL Education Fellow
There are a lot of physical incentives you can establish for students and teachers alike! For students, giving a break during the class session can improve their learning overall. But a break doesn’t have to be simply a waste of time. One way to utilize a break is to make it a musical break! Playing some music for students (or letting them play music if you have some class instruments) can be an excellent way to release some wiggles and make it easier for students to concentrate when you start class up again. If you think that your students need more physical activity to get all of their energy out, suggest letting your teachers take their students outside during class and running around buildings or a field. Besides letting students get their energy out, these breaks outside can also forge friendships between students outside of the classroom.
Incentives can also work well with older students in youth groups. If you have students who don't find the prospect of running for a position for the sake of the position enticing, establish a protocol that the president of the youth group will get to attend a retreat or convention for free. Besides enticing more people to run for positions, you will also have a greater chance of having your youth leadership at conferences to bring back vital information to your youth group.
We can implement the theory of motivation for teachers. School directors can create incentives for teachers who can be named the Teacher of the Year. These teachers could be sent to a conference or workshop for free (or a reduced rate). This incentive would provide the same benefits that doing this for teen leadership brings. Another thing that some teachers would appreciate would be giving the Teacher of the Year a Sunday off with pay. Whatever a director chooses as the physical incentive, there are many physical incentives that teachers or students could benefit from, and the congregation and school would benefit from them in return.
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