March 19, 2019

Family Fun Offers a Student Incentive

DODDs School Celebration

As an International Teacher  I created quarterly incentives that involved an interesting extra curricular activity to involve students and their families .  Students who kept their grades at a B average could participate in each Family Fun quarterly activity. Some of the regular quarterly activities included family picnics, hikes on Guam, beach picnics and BBQ;s at my home.

Because some students didn’t manage to keep the necessary grades to participate I also planned an activity once or twice  per school year related to a holiday and invited each student along with their parents. One particularly fun activity was a cookie baking party at my home. The kids and parents alike enjoyed that one and everyone went home with fresh baked cookies.

Requirements and activity parameters are different around the world so it’s important to plan activities through your administrator. I’ve been fortunate with schools and parents signing release forms and allowing participation in some unusual activities. My requirement has always been that at least one parent attend the event. Also on Guam when we went on jungle hikes we went with first aid supplies and a cell phone. We did some pretty amazing things, including a hike to Guam’s Pagat Cave. The cave contained a underground swimming hole and as I had been previously several times we hiked the mile or so into the jungle and swam in the cave by candle light. It was fun for everyone and the parents loved it. Today, I’m not sure I would plan such an extreme event, but it was well supervised with parents, myself, a DARE officer and release forms signed by every family.

The reality is that every student is not going to be able to earn incentives, so it’s important to plan at least one or two activities with your students outside the classroom where students, teacher and families can bond and enjoy wonderful day together. My years as an International Teacher created friendships with my students and their families that continue today. The activities and events I planned brought my students closer together and helped us bond each year as a class.

Pagat Cave You Tube video

Flickr Creative Commons Photo By: USACE Europe District

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