Homeroom teachers use unique ways to motivate students during Walk-A-Thon

By J1 Reporter Ally Ravnsborg

For Marian students, the end of summer and the beginning of fall aren’t just the start of a new school year. It is also the spark of one of the biggest competitions between classes at Marian: Walk-A-Thon(WAT). WAT is the only student-led fundraiser that also inspires a competitive spirit in the hearts of Marian girls. Through food nights, lemonade stands, emailing family members, and many other means, students try to bring the most money for their class in order to win certian prizes. 

As students bring in their money every Friday during homeroom from Aug. 27 through Sept. 17, teachers encourage them to bring in as much money as possible. Every week, the top homeroom wins  donuts from Student Board. After the four collection dates, the top homeroom from each class wins a day off for their homeroom teacher.

Mrs. Amanda Pritchard told her junior homeroom class if they brought in enough money to meet their goal, she would bring in food for them. She also promised her students that if they were the top homeroom in the junior class, she would buy them a pizza on a half-day. 

Mrs. Amanda Pritchard and her junior homeroom students after WAT. Photo by Ally Ravnsborg ‘23

These incentives didn’t truly motivate students, Pritchard said, “ I think the Field Day aspect pepped them up, but we did not meet our HR goal.” This shows that teachers can try to incentivize their students in unique ways, but the outcome is truly up to the students. 

Field Day isn’t the only thing that motivated homeroom teachers to incentivize their students to bring in money. Who wouldn’t want the day off? For junior homeroom teacher, Mr. BJ Christensen, students were motivated by a day off and his competitive nature.

Some teachers are motivated to win just for the love of the game and possibly, a relaxing day off. Christensen told students that if they won the top homeroom for the junior class, he would buy his students coffee and donuts for a reward. Even though students had donuts to motivate them, they were not the top homeroom in the junior class. 

Finding these unique ways to encourage students to bring in money can be influential to the outcome of WAT. Even if students don’t bring in enough money to claim first, accomplishing the homeroom goal can be a reward in itself.

 Student Board also promised ice cream or cookies from the cafeteria to homerooms that had 100% participation, but only one freshman homeroom made that goal. Students will always bring in money, but food, especially pizza and coffee can sure speed up the process!

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