Work Capacity and Motivation

April 14, 2021

One of the life skills we teach at Alpha is Focus and Intensity. While a traditional school might reward intelligence by assigning letter grades, we design systems built to reward student effort and progress.

By the time Alpha students reach Level 3 (7th and 8th grade), they’ve developed the ability to consistently hit time benchmarks in their apps each week. In Level 3, students build on this skill by learning the discipline of working with intensity. This allows students to find the right formula of time plus effort, resulting in app completion and preparing them for the content-completion course of Level 4, Alpha’s high school program.

In Level 3, Alpha’s motivational systems help students grow their work habits and prepare for real life:

Alpha Rewards awards students for completing their personal goals in apps, completing writing assignments, finishing work in CRR (Composition, Reading and Rhetoric), and more. Students earn “miles” if they put in the work, and those miles lead to rewards like exclusive swag, special privileges, and even cash at the end of each session.

Black Widow is a weekly contest to recognize the student who completes the highest number of units in each Alpha app. Because each student is on their own learning pathway, we can foster competition between students regardless of the level of content they’re tackling in their app.

Beast of the Week is purely about effort. This weekly contest is a highly competitive race to see which student can complete the highest number of minutes in their Core Skills apps. It’s no coincidence that the student who wins Beast in a given week usually takes home a few Black Widow awards that same week.

Our L3 space at LZR has a mural (by renowned Austin street artist Mike Johnston) that drives this home with a prowling tiger and the text, “I PUT IN THE WORK.”

At Alpha, we recognize and reward students who focus during Core Skills time and work with intensity in their apps because we know that effort leads to results, both at Alpha and in life.