Building a Sense of Pride in My Students

One of the hardest tasks for a teacher is to convince students to take pride in their work.  Each year, I do my best to explain to students why they should be proud of their work.  However, I’m usually not terribly successful.

This year, I’m trying something different.  I had a refrigerator printed (life size) to post on my wall.

Here is the blank door

For posting things we are proud of.

As students do something to be proud of, we post it on the fridge.  I explained to the students that it is just like what you do at home: when you bring home a paper that you are proud of, your parents put it on the refrigerator.  That’s what we will do in the classroom.

Already, I have had students asking if they can post a picture on the fridge.  I have been graphing the percentage of work turned in for each class.  At the end of each month, the class with the highest average turn in rate will have a certificate posted on the refrigerator.  At the end of September, the Speedsters (one of my classes) were thrilled to have their certificate posted.  It’s my hope that this will encourage students to turn in more assignments.

Refrigerator with points of pride

In addition, as a group won a competition in class, they wanted their picture posted on the refrigerator.  I was encouraged when they asked to have their picture posted, since it means they are taking this seriously.

As we go through the year, I’m hoping the students will be excited to post points of pride in our classroom and take more pride in their work.  (We also posted the lunch menu, since that’s where most of us post it at home!)

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