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A reward system was recently implemented in our Sunday School in the hope of improving participation in class and spiritual habits: class attendance, confession, Liturgy attendance, memorizing verses, praying, etc. The children are rewarded for each task with credits or points, which can later be used to "buy" gifts from a pool of pre-purchased toys from the Sunday School fund. Previously, the children were already confessing, memorizing, attending Sunday School and the Liturgy, etc. with no rewards. This new system was only implemented to boost more participation. After this system was introduced, we noticed a difference in many children's behavior towards their spiritual tasks. We often get questions like: "If I do this... (confess, attend the Liturgy, etc.), do I get points? How many points do I get?" After completing a task: "Where are my points? Can we get more?" These questions were non-existent before. At times, we feel as if we are "paying" them to do well or to behave well. Some children, especially older ones, treat the points as real money, counting and saving them, and even arguing over them. Other servants also noticed that some children who were previously well-behaved (before the reward system) have changed and became worse. The children seem distracted and miss out on the real spiritual benefit of godly behavior. It is apparent that many confess or come to Sunday School simply to get points. This is very unsettling for us as it seems to undermine all the spiritual benefits we've tried to instill in them. Our questions for Your Grace are as follows:
How do we encourage the children without crossing over to bribing or manipulating their behavior (by using points or other methods)?
We heard this has been used in Egypt, does it work?
I need your prayers and suggestions for my Sunday School class (7th and 8th grade). They are very hyper. I have tried to get them involved in the lesson and to make it more interesting, but that only seems to make them more hyper! I don't know what to do anymore!
Should a servant demand respect from the ones he serves? A high school student whom I teach is a good kid. However, he oftentimes shows disrespect without realizing it with regards to the way that he talks and his demeanor towards me. I had noticed it before but did not give it much thought until others had pointed it out to me and said that I should do something about it. My question then becomes, do I need to? Is it just pride from my side of wanting his respect?
Who is responsible for the Sunday School Program, the senior Sunday School teacher or the priest? If the senior Sunday School teacher is responsible, is he solely guided by the church priest?
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