Rewards for the bare minimum

Getting to school on time, going to class during passing period, and coming to school and demonstrating good behavior — as a student, especially at the high school level, these standards are to be expected to be met. They’re the absolute base of what makes a successful student. Other factors play into the successfulness of a student too, factors that aren’t so easy. Getting proficient marks on a test, going above and beyond to help others, and doing what’s best for one’s education.

There’s a not so fine line between offering incentives for doing good and doing what is expected. Stagg has introduced a new policy this year; they are now offering rewards and opportunities for doing the bare minimum. These rewards include phone rings, gift cards for TOGO’s and Chick-Fil-A, and other small items. For the most part, the large majority of these gifts are given for doing the absolute bare minimum.

It’s understandable as to why our admins have come up with this new policy. For some, the bare minimum is just that. It’s mundane behavior that is just apart of our lives as students, and for the majority of students who think like this, this mundane behavior really is no big deal. But as for the other students, the “bare minimum” is a big deal.

Although the easy tasks for students aren’t exactly easy tasks for others, they still shouldn’t be rewarded for doing what they are suppose to do. Going to school for a full week on time is something that students are being rewarded for. Instead of making it only a week to meet the requirement for the reward, students should have to come to school for two weeks.

If the requirements were raised even just a tad bit, people would strive and push themselves even more. Furthermore, if the prizes were better people would want them even more. Seeing as the requirements would be raised, it would only make sense for the prizes to be better. Instead of a gift card for $5, we could get some with $10.

Doing the bare minimum shouldn’t be glorified. If it continues to be viewed as a big deal, it will eventually become a big deal. It’s like when a child gets a reward for cleaning their room. Soon enough, they’ll want a reward every time. Students should be rewarded for going above and beyond, nothing less.