Incentives are an interesting thing. What gets us going and doing. What motivates.
Contests, prizes for completion of something mundane, tedious, or difficult motivates some. The extrinsic stuff to get it done. I never respond to those kinds of incentives. Not because I’m virtuous. When I don’t value it, I ignore, procrastinate, I forget.
That’s just me. But the rest of the world isn’t necessarily like me. And I probably wasn’t always that way. There was a time when a little acknowledgment or prize mattered and got me to do something.
I have to remember that.
I resist giving prizes. I have this issue with external reward systems. The majority can’t win, and the winners are the usual suspects: those that always do things right and get awards.
This year I decided to offer prizes for participation in the Slice of Life Classroom Challenge. In the past, I felt like it wasn’t fair for those who didn’t have access. But this year, all have the opportunity to blog every day. In school.
This year, I have more posting than ever before. Is that due to the prizes or the access? .
The other day, W asked me, “Am I one of the top bloggers?”
I told her yes, in fact, she was.
“Good! I really want that prize.”
A prize (I don’t even know what it will be) motivated her to get on the blog every day and write. She stays in at recess. She talks about what her writing is making her realize; about how it’s hard to write every day, but somehow it happens; how it’s so cool to get comments from people all over the country. All those writing experiences I found on my blogging journey, she is finding on hers. I’m surprised the prize motivated her.
Would W have attempted the challenge without the prize? Is that just an added benefit? I’m not sure. I’ll have to ask.
Thank you, Two Writing Teacher Blog for the March Slice of Life Challenge. To be in the presence of so many writers is prizeworthy. Read more slices here.