Addie Meiners demonstrates how he engages students in the learning process. Mr. Tony Catalano, a veteran teacher with 29 years of experience at JCP's, is highly regarded by his students not only because he makes class enjoyable, but also because he incorporates incentives to kick-start the learning process. At the beginning of the school year, every teacher is expected to devise a motivational plan for students. Instead of imposing an incentive that students may not appreciate, Mr. Catalano took a different approach. He asked his sixth-grade science classes a simple question: "What would you all like as a reward?" Their response? Michael Jordan shoes. By aligning assignments with behavior, the students are more motivated to complete their tasks. The selected students' names are entered into a drawing, with those who fail to qualify being excluded. It's essentially a lottery system, and if a student's name is drawn, they win a pair of Jordan shoes. On the surface, the method may appear straightforward, admits Catalano, but the results are undeniable. In comparison to students who struggle in other classes, there is a significant difference in behavior and performance. When I learn about their behavior in other classes, I'm genuinely amazed. They behave differently in my class. "Put it in writing and turn on your lamp," says Mr. Catalano. His positive energy and contagious enthusiasm contribute to an enjoyable classroom atmosphere. Bryson Abron, the winner in September, walked away with a brand-new pair of Air Jordan Retro 4s and a special note from Mr. Catalano commending his hard work. "I already liked him the most, but winning the shoes made me feel even closer to him. It feels like I have a bond with him," says Abron. This is precisely what Mr. Catalano aims to impart - the understanding that there are people who are eager to support and help you succeed without expecting anything in return except hard work, dedication, and respect.
I already favored him the most, but it caused me to like him even more. I feel as though I have a connection with him," expressed Abren. A connection that has grown due to a shared adoration for footwear. Catalano mentioned that he possesses numerous pairs of Jordans that he has amassed since 1984. "I am the sole husband who possesses a greater number of shoes than his spouse," chuckled Catalano. "During the month of August, I wore a distinct pair every single day. And people would observe them and say, 'Hey, Mr. Catalano, I notice you are wearing those!' And they were aware of the specific details, they knew the name of the shoe I was wearing since they also keep track of it."
Catalano is a teacher with 29 years of experience at JCPS and revealed that he has been organizing this shoe giveaway for several years. As per a spokesperson from JCPS, he personally covers the cost of each pair of shoes from his own funds.
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Discovering a method to inspire students can be a challenging task, particularly for male students in middle school. However, Mr. Tony Catalano, a science teacher for sixth graders at W.E.B. DuBois Academy, believes he has uncovered a rather excellent motivator for his all-boys class.
Every month, students in Catalano's class have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a pair of shoes endorsed by Michael Jordan if they successfully complete all their assignments and exhibit good behavior.
"I always strive to provide them with what they desire in terms of a reward system because then they are genuinely motivated to accomplish it," expressed Catalano.
According to Catalano, the outcomes speak for themselves.
"Some of the students misbehave in other classes within the school, and I hear about it. I'm amazed, thinking, 'Wow, he behaves in my class!' It's because there is an incentive in place that he desires," Catalano explained.
Bryson Abren secured the Air Jordan Retro 4 shoes for the month of September.
"I was taken aback because I never seem to have that level of luck," Abren remarked. "I never anticipated winning those sneakers."
Abren stated that the shoes have been a significant impetus for him and the other students to excel in Catalano's class.
"I already favored him the most, but this has further endeared him to me. I feel like we share a strong connection," Abren affirmed.
It is a bond that has flourished as a result of their mutual admiration for shoes. Catalano disclosed that he possesses hundreds of pairs of Jordans that he has amassed since 1984.
"I'm the only husband with more shoes than his wife," Catalano jokingly stated. "In August, I wore a different pair every single day. So [the students] would notice them and say, 'Hey, Mr. Catalano, I see you're wearing those!' And they knew the number and name of the shoes I had on because they also keep track of it."
Catalano, who has 29 years of experience as an instructor at JCPS, revealed that he has been conducting shoe giveaways for numerous years. According to a JCPS spokesperson, he personally funds each pair of shoes.