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Middle school teacher gets creative to motivate students to read

Posted at 10:32 AM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 15:57:48-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Lloyd Goldberg will do pretty much anything to motivate his students to read.

“At 5,000 books, they each got to shave a piece of my hair," said Goldberg.

The Clark County School District middle school teacher created an epic reading challenge -- at each milestone, the students get to decide what crazy thing their teacher does. The first major reward was crunchy.

“I had to eat bugs. So I found some delicious bacon-flavored crickets and for each one of the three classes, I ate a box of crickets for them," said Goldberg.

The things Goldberg does are pretty crazy. The reason why is not.

“If they’re willing to work, I’m willing to do whatever they want to get them to keep working," said Goldberg.

And keep working, they have. Many students say Goldberg’s epic challenges have motivated them to read more.

“It actually helped how he wanted us to do challenges so we can reach a higher level and read," said Robert, a student in Goldberg's class.

For Goldberg, the reward comes when a student learns something new.

“That look on their face when they get something. When we’ve been talking about it for weeks or days or in some cases, years. All of sudden one day it clicks and now not only can they do what they learned in English. They can now take it and use it math and science and social studies," said Goldberg.

Goldberg aims to build on each success in the classroom -- with the hope that it will set his students on a positive trajectory.

“Now they start looking oh maybe school isn’t so hard, maybe college isn’t so out of reach, maybe this great career I had planned isn’t so much of a dream but now it’s right there. It’s reality. And just to be a small part on that continuum is why I come every day," said Goldberg.

It’s no surprise Goldberg is a favorite among students. And they’ve already decided what crazy thing he’ll do when they reach the next milestone.

“At 7,500 books, I have to get my ear pierced, which hasn’t happened since I was 20.”

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