This is a behavior management program that encourages positive behavior instead of focusing on the negative behaviors. You, as a teacher, are still able to deal with the negative behaviors with whatever consequences your school policy has determined. This program encourages students to behave in a positive manner because there is a possibility of a reward for doing so. It is very difficult to instill positive characteristics in students when they are not given a reason other than "you're supposed to behave this way". The students will feel good when they are recognized for helping someone, encouraging someone, showing kindness, and much more. Students will begin to want to do nice things for others because there could be a benefit for doing so that goes beyond just being nice because.
I have seen, first-hand, this program in action. The retailer, Target, has been using this program with its employees for years. The program creates a positive work environment, as well as a sense of satisfaction that your positive efforts do not go unnoticed. This translates perfectly into the school system. The G.R.E.A.T. Student Card program will help create a positive classroom and/or school environment. The students will develop more of an awareness of self and how it impacts others and themselves. They will want to do the right thing. This program will also impact your students by helping them to understand economics as well. The students have to save for the things that they want. If a student wants to spend their cards right away, they will only be able to purchase small, "cheap" items. If they want something bigger, (i.e. gift cards [that have been donated by local businesses], games, logo wear, etc.) they will have to save for it.
I began teaching in February of 2004. I have been a H.S. Intervention Specialist (2 years), 7th Grade Writing Teacher, and I currently teach 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Social Studies as well as 8th grade Language Arts.