Intrinsic Rewards

Since I don’t have my own early childhood classroom any longer, I sometimes forget the feeling you get when a child learns something new. I was recently watching my excited grandson show me that he had learned to ride his bike without training wheels. He couldn’t get enough riding time. He was always asking one of the adults to go outside with him so he could ride that bike. It is such an intrinsic reward (I am helping mankind!!) to see a child accomplish a skill. That is why many of us have devoted our lives to working with the youngest members of our population.


14 responses

  1. This is true, but hard to do at times. I practice all the time when I’m working with young children, to encourage intrinsic motivation. Instead of saying ‘good job’ or ‘nice picture’, I try to say things that encourage them to take pride in their own work. For example, when a child accomplishes something, I try to ask, “how did that make you feel?” After they respond, they act more enthusiastic about their work. Intrinsic motivation is a true motivator from the inside out.Sarah H. TL 4330

  2. This is why we do the things we do and why we are in the field we are in ( Heavens knows its not for the money:) I know when I am teaching my Preschool class there is not greater feeling then seeing the light bulb go off inside a child! Amy M. TL 4330

  3. I work in a Special Ed class and last year I was working with several students on tying their shoes. After several months only one out of five had learned how to tie their shoes. However, I was not discouraged because I saw how excited that one boy was every time he tied his own shoes. It was great knowing that I helped him develop a valuable skill. I fell rewarded seeing him gain an independence that he didn’t have before.Avery G 5170

  4. I lived with my buddy who had a 3 year old son, and he was always learning something new. One of the coolest things about it is that after every time he would show me this new thing, he would say “aren’t you proud of me Zac?” Which made me even more proud of him that he feels so much happiness from learning.Zac S. TL 4330

  5. Watching kids learn is one of the funnest things to do! I am watching my 1 year old niece for sister a lot while she works and it is so fun to see the new discoveries she makes about life everyday! Kassi C 1010

  6. As a student I felt that it was easy to tell which teachers choose teaching because they wanted to teach (intrinsic rewards) and which chose teaching because they wanted the hours or the vacation time (extrinsic rewards). The ones who wanted to be there were the ones you wanted to have. Although the others were often easier and I suppose for a high school student that could be a motivation…sigh.Kelly Z. FCS 5170

  7. Thank you for the wonderful thoughts on intrinsic motivation.When we were in our 3 year collaboration with Dr. John Bransford’s (UW) learning science team as we infused a new way for children to learn through gaming into a really fun game, we spent a LOT of time understanding what intrinsically motivates a child. This is fundamental to our new game – ItzaBitza ( where the children are intrinsically motivated to both draw (creativity) and read (reading comprehension).Margaret (mom of 2 and CEO, Sabi)

  8. This is the best way to impart knowledge and build a strong kid .

  9. I believe that it is so important to provide intrinsic rewards for young students. These rewards keep them going and want to strive to do better. It is important as teachers to remember that he little things matter to the student. Remember, to always be positive with your students and remeber not to always be negative in your classroom. Intrinsic rewards can be so beneficial if you fing out the intrest and hobbies of the child. You might spark something new and a new technique to teach by.

  10. Kids are so great. I am a nanny and have had many experiences that have left me laughing and filled with love. I remember Paisley (who is 4) and I were at the mall. I had really old shorts on, as I squatted down, they ripped. I was horrified. Paisley says to me “Don’t worry Leelee spongebob does it all the time” It was hilarious. She stood behind me as we left the mall. She made me feel better. It will always be remembered. Alicia F. Intro to Teaching 1010

  11. It can be very devine and spiritual work if understood very well .

  12. This is true. It feels so good to see when a child is learning something you have taught. I love teaching and helping children to learn makes me feel good. I like to see them smiling and be proud of what they have learned. These are rewarding and precious moments.

  13. I currently work with 3 years old and I enjoy it very much. I love to watch them mature. There is no greater reward than to watch them master a concept that they cried about and screamed " I can't do it". The love they give you is to precious to ignore or throw away. This age group really appreciates learning

  14. I am living with my 3 years old child. He gets up early in the morning in the bed and automatically step out form and after that he cry and we all gets up!! How's funny!!

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