The most successful Hero schools reward students by incentivizing positive behavior. This playbook will walk you through how to build your incentive program.
Create a plan to ensure that students have a voice
Students thrive in environments where they feel connected. Utilize the well-organized student groups on campus to reach out to students to develop the foundation of their incentives program. Student Government Association teachers and their students, National Honors society sponsors and their members, and the yearbook advisor and the journalism students should be a part of this team. Student leadership (or the faculty closest to them) on campus should be tasked with the first draft of a master list of the incentives that students want.
Need help? Start a collaborative session with this BRAINSTORM TEMPLATE.
Build a team
In Hero classrooms across the country, millions of students receive immediate feedback in the form of points awarded to students for meeting expectations. This feedback is meaningful when combined with customized and school-wide incentives. Building a robust and self-sustaining incentives program requires teamwork.
There is much long standing research on the correlation between building teacher leadership capacity, collaboration, and school improvement. Shared leadership is not a new concept in education, and it has allowed a strengthening in the culture of schools in the 21st century. With Hero, you have the ability to customize a set of school-wide expectations and validate the students who meet those set criteria with immediate and meaningful feedback.
Need help? This BEHAVIOR TEMPLATE has examples of positive behavior codes you can easily implement.
To build an effective team for your incentives program, you need to feel comfortable with building teacher capacity and empowering your teacher leaders to make decisions.
Your incentives team must:
- lead and train other teachers in best practice uses for Hero in the classroom
- keep the school moving towards its Hero goals
- make Hero decisions and partnerships for school improvement
Adding the right teacher leaders to this team can seem like a daunting task, but there are leaders in Hero that are emerging in the data, and you may not even be aware of it. If your school has already been using Hero, you can use the school activity report to identify the teachers that have best acclimated to the program. Through modeling, these strong users are already committed to the success of the project, and their feedback is essential.
Tapping into already existing resources is equally important. There are already groups of students and teachers on campus who are responsive to building incentive programs and projects with the community.
Celebrate student successes
With an Incentives Hero Champion at the helm, your school admin team is ready to celebrate the students and acknowledge their positive accomplishments. When rolling out the expected or desired behaviors that will earn students points, make sure that you begin at the level where students can succeed and be positively reinforced.
Reward the students in the manner that helps them to achieve your goals. In the early stages of your rollout, you should be rewarding with high frequency, and you should make it as publicly awarded as possible. For example, if your school has a dress code, you could include a dress down day pass as part of your Hero incentives. That way, the kids will notice who isn’t dressed in dress code and will ask why. If you give a kid a cookie in the cafeteria that’s great, but remember to post all the kids getting cookies on twitter. This accomplishes two things:
- The kids get recognition for earning the cookie
- You might be able to partner with a local business to make a donation of items that can be given as incentives and rewards.
The power of points
Points become a form of school-based currency. They have value on your campus not because you say they do but because the students believe they do. Begin to think of your incentives in these terms:
- How much would this cost and how valuable is it to the student?
- What is the point-minimum criteria for participation?
- Teachers should be rewarding kids daily in the classroom, but administrators should be walking around with the Hero App to award students they catch doing great things in the cafeteria, courtyard and hallways. To transform the culture of the community, you need the whole community to participate.
When delivering rewards, acknowledge that the student is making a choice to redeem something they have earned for meeting your desired goals.
- Be enthusiastic! Share the excitement over the points being rewarded and the points being redeemed.
- Make sure there is a variety of choices available to empower the students to set goals and work towards them.
- Some Hero schools have physical school stores whereas some have a form where students can redeem incentives. If you’re using a form for your school store, you can arrange to have the students’ incentives brought to their classroom.
Don’t forget to celebrate with your students and enjoy what you’ve accomplished together. Then, move the target and keep going.
Do you need help refining or rolling out your Hero Incentives? Contact your Customer Success Manager.