5 Great Ways to Reward Your Middle School Students
Whether you’re a teacher working in a traditional classroom setting, conducting classes via Zoom, or a parent who is homeschooling your children, you know that keeping students motivated can make a huge difference in the way they perform academically.
Telling your students that they’re doing a good job can encourage them to continue doing well in class, but there are some creative ways to show them that you notice their hard work and the progress they’ve made. If you have middle school students, your motivational tactics will likely require a mixture of prizes and memorable gifts.
In these unusual times, it’s important to let students know that their academic diligence doesn’t go unnoticed. Here are five ways to reward your middle school students for a job well done.
1. A Handwritten Note
This simple gesture will stay on your middle schooler’s mind for years to come. Instead of simply emailing your student to let them know you’re proud of them, give them a note written by hand to express your gratitude for their hard work and diligence. If you’re homeschooling, you can give a handwritten note each semester and put them in a scrapbook for safekeeping.
2. Lunch or Dinner On You
Give your middle schooler a tasty treat as a reward to congratulate them on their academic success. You can purchase a gift card for a popular fast food restaurant and send it to your student for making a good grade on a test or turning in an informative and well-researched report. If you’re homeschooling, you can finish up the school day early and take your student to their favorite restaurant as a reward.
3. A Trophy or Award
Even though some middle-schoolers may not show it, they may be excited to receive a trophy as a reminder that they’ve worked hard and accomplished their academic goals for the year. You can present the trophy with your student’s name engraved on the front of the trophy along with the reason for the award, i.e. perfect attendance or highest grade point average in a particular subject. Be sure to include the month and date on the trophy to serve as a way for the student to remember how well they did that school year. Visit your local trophy store to choose creative designs for the trophy or to purchase a wall plaque or desk placard for your student depending on their style.
4. Tickets to a Local Sporting Event
If your middle schooler has spent most of the school year at home learning virtually, tickets to a local sports game are a great way to provide an outing they’ll enjoy. Find out when your local basketball, football, or baseball team is playing and purchase tickets as a surprise for your student. Or, you can promise the tickets at the start of the school year to motivate your students to work hard and make the best grades possible throughout the year. If you can, arrange for the student to take pictures with their favorite athlete or receive a signed jersey or ball from the team so they’ll have a souvenir to remember this special day.
5. An Appreciation Video
Middle schoolers will likely appreciate a video compilation of all their accomplishments throughout the semester or the school year. You can present the video to them as a gift at a virtual honors ceremony. Or, you can create a video for one of your children to congratulate for doing great things during the year while you homeschooled them or supervised their virtual schooling. You can add your student’s favorite songs and even edit some of the pictures in the video to feature the student’s favorite colors or video game characters. End the video with a message telling the student how proud you are and how you’re looking forward to seeing great things from them in the coming year.
These are just a few of the ideas you can use to motivate your students and reward them for their hard work. Congratulating your students should be a year-round practice but rewards are especially important this school year in light of the difficult time we’ve all faced. Whether your students are attending school in person or virtually, they’ll likely be elated that you noticed them and want to encourage them to excel academically.