Potential Reinforcers for Staff

Just as when reinforcing students, the reinforcers used for staff must be selected based on their reinforcing value to the adult (i.e., the staff member finds the item reinforcing, and results in an increase or maintenance of behavior). As such, what is reinforcing for one adult may not be for another.

Verbal Praise

  • Parents, student, and/or administrators give verbal praise and recognition
  • Compliment a teacher on a program over the P.A. system
  • Congratulate class and students over P.A. system
  • Compliment class in front of teacher
  • Encourage substitute teachers to provide positive feedback
  • Provide specific labeled praise
  • Pass on compliments from parents, kids, and others to teachers and staff
  • Principal spends first few minutes of faculty meeting complimenting staff
  • Teachers give aides and each other verbal praise
  • When visiting class, make positive comments on how students respond; point out specifics

Written Praise

  • Warm, fuzzy notes
  • Individualized school note
  • Appreciative letters with copies sent to administrators
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Positive notes in file
  • Spotlight teacher in newspaper
  • Positive written messages from consultant
  • Written positive feedback
  • Thank-U-Grams
  • Appreciative letters, emails, and notes from administrators
  • Thank you in daily bulletin
  • Compliments on specific bulletin boards, etc.
  • Positive notes from students

Tangible Rewards

  • Certificates
  • Buttons
  • Food
  • Bonus money, or voucher, for special supplies or equipment
  • Cash award
  • Five gallons of gasoline
  • Theater tickets
  • Award during school board meeting
  • Special lunches/dinners
  • Small gifts
  • Bonus supplies or equipment


  • Release from teaching for a period (administrator or other qualified staff takes class)
  • Remodeling of staff lounge
  • Positive phone calls
  • Teacher of the month program
  • Gestures: Smiles, nods, etc.
  • Paid release time for in-service trainings or workshops