BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — A Broken Arrow teacher inspired her students to improve their grades with the promise of their favorite meal.
Childers Middle School art teacher Lauren Seidenberger has 30 students in her advisory class. The class is like homeroom where students get together once a day.
Over the last few weeks, she noticed the majority of her students, more than 20 of 30 students, were failing several of their classes.
“One of the things that I noticed is they would get behind on a few assignments and it would bring their grade significantly down,” Seidenberger said.
“It got to the point where they felt like there was nothing they could do fast enough to bring it up. So they just kind of gave up.”
Seidenberger wanted a way to motivate her students, so she asked them what would it take for them to get their grades up.
“The general consensus, the thing that would get them motivated to passing all their classes was food,” Seindenberger said.
She reached out to the Chick-fil-A in Broken Arrow and explained the situation.
The restaurant agreed to provide 30 free meals if the students reached their goals.
Seidenberger says it worked.
“I went from having multiple students, over 20 students failing to over 20 students passing,” she said.
She says the pandemic has really taken a toll on her students and she was thankful this simple act could help them in the classroom.
“Even though food was the motivator to being with, it was neat as a teacher to see it change from physical motivation to intrinsic motivation,” said Seidenberger.
“When I saw those light bulbs go off in them on their journey, that just got me really excited that they started to see what I saw.”
2 News talked with students in Seidenberger’s advisory class.
“Chick-fil-A is so good,” said 8th-grade student Evie Lock.
“I love it so much. I’m happy they gave it to us for lunch. It definitely made my day today.”
While their grades were doing fine during this journey, Evie and classmate Kassandra Binneboc used the experience to motivate their classmates.
“I was asking around to see if anyone else needed help,” said Kassandra Binneboc.
“I just wanted to see if I could help any of my classmates if they needed help to achieve their goals,” said Evie Lock.
For Seidenberger, she says she’ll continue to encourage her students and focus on their mental health.
“A lot of them are struggling with things at home and at school and online and I just want them to feel safe and comfortable in my class and in their school,” said Seidenberger.
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