Students in Josh Christiansen's agriculture classes at Flandreau High School are getting paid for hard work in the classroom and FFA. Christiansen developed a record keeping system that awards students for classroom effort through a points system.
Students sign a contract at the beginning of each quarter, indicating how much pay they would like to receive. At the end of each class period, students must fill out their time card indicating how much time they actually worked during that class. If a student misses class, they do not get paid until they make up the time. At the beginning of each week, students receive their check for the time they worked the previous week. These points can be used for benefits in the classroom such as promotions or paid vacation, which allows students who miss class for school activities to make up for the time they missed. Participation in the Flandreau FFA Chapter allows students to gain bonus points.
Students in Christiansen's class are benefitting from the grading system which Christiansen named the Grade Payment System (GPS). Not only does GPS encourage students to participate in class, but it also is preparing them for their future careers.
"This seems to be a good way of motivating students to take school more seriously," says Christiansen. "This is just one way to make school more relative in the world of work. With the changing attitudes of students, teachers must make every effort to help propel them to the next level."