July 5, 2017
By Sarah Barott, AmeriCorps Promise Fellow serving at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights
One of my students always seemed reluctant to get help from me. I figured that the way to get him to work with me was to give him a goal to work towards. We decided that if he could use his planner for three weeks (the time it takes for a habit to be formed) and pay attention in his classes (which he did) then he would be able to earn a pizza party.
Every week I checked in, and saw that my student was doing a wonderful job. He kept a detailed planner and didn’t get into any trouble in his classes. At the end of the three weeks, I threw him a pizza party with two of his friends during lunch, and asked what goal we could work on next to keep the planner going.
He stated “I don’t need a goal. The planner actually helps me to do my homework, and that’s incentive enough.”
The student has since been using his planner regularly and encouraging his friends to do so as well.
[From “Voices From the Field: Reflections from Minnesota Alliance With Youth’s AmeriCorps Members.” Summer 2017.]