Gotcha Philosophy

Gotcha Reward and Philosophy systems

Gotcha / Reward System @ GEPS

How does it work?

  •   Each teacher will be given tokens that are called ‘Gotchas’.
  •  Each class will have their teacher explain the change in Gotchas from paper to tokens and the universal reward system that’s been adopted throughout the school…rewards collective rather than individual (the individual contributes to the whole classroom reward, to the year level reward and the whole school reward)
  • Teachers  use the Gotchas constantly throughout the class to reward big and small efforts of each individual student…especially trying to catch our more challenging students
  • Once a student gets a Gotcha they cannot be taken back no matter how challenging a behaviour may be
  • Gotchas can be given for opening books, sitting attentively on the floor, smiling, lining up quietly, finishing work, attempting work, starting work, showing kindness to self, other students, teachers, helping others, being silent when asked, working well as a group, cleaning/tidying without prompting, packing up etc.
  • Initially the process will involve giving out lots (starting point of at least 30 daily) of tokens so that the system is firmly in place and behaviour change can occur (depending upon your class, this could take weeks or even a term)
  • Gotchas can be given subtly ‘great to see you sitting quietly’ but if need be teachers can use them more overtly ‘Wow Phoebe, I just noticed you cleaning the room without me asking, here’s a Gotcha’.
  • Keep your Gotchas in a handy location
  • Only teachers can give out Gotchas at any given time
  • Celebrate the Gotcha Jar by placing it in a prominent position in the classroom
  • Expectations in classrooms for receiving a Gotcha must be explicitly taught:
    • Start giving out the Gotchas when you begin the explicit teaching of them
    • Ask the students what they think would be the best way to organize their Gotchas. See if you can guide them to answer that Gotchas are to be left on their table and not fiddled with or touched by others…. For younger classes, demonstrate what they should do with the Gotcha once they receive one
    • If on the floor, the Gotcha should be placed on the floor in front of the student and then taken back to their table when they are required to move to tables
    • Not everyone will get a Gotcha. “What would be a kind thought if someone other than you gets one”? (lesson in empathy and kindness) ‘Luckily all Gotchas go towards the whole class. Also, how good would it feel if you could add a marble to other people’s marbles in the jar”
    • At the end of the day, students swap their Gotcha for a marble to put in the jar (or a time that suits you daily)
    • Discuss different rewards that your class think would appropriate when the jar is full (it is important they choose this within reason. Studies show this is an important step in the process).
  • Expectations in the yard when you receive a Gotcha: When receiving a Gotcha outside, at specialists, ES staff Principal/Wellbeing office, general office or canteen, students are to keep their Gotcha safe and take it back to the classroom when they return.