....We change the way awards are given. I am not against the idea of an award, and I have children who have received many. I get it. Parents have a pride thing going on. I've been there. However, years into this, my concern about the awards has grown. My son has really brought this to my attention as he's moved through school. His (and now my) concern is the public nature of such displays in the elementary and middle school levels particularly.
If you've got 5 kids out of 240 who have truly done something so outstanding that hasn't been accomplished by anyone else, then award those very select few, okay. They can serve as an example to the 99% of others who aren't being awarded and we can be in awe of them. However, that is not usually what is happening in schools now. A more common scenario is when the end of year school award ceremony ends up awarding 200 out of 250 kids for academics, music, art, ect, then that IS too exclusionary to the 50 kids who basically have just been handed the message that "they suck," and they have contributed nothing to the school community.,and there is nothing noteworthy about them. If you are a school in this above scenario where you are awarding the majority of kids in the grade for SOMETHING, then at that point you need to award everyone SOMETHING. Public acknowledgement of end of year achievements in the elementary and middle school years can be emotionally hard for kids who will not be recognized. It also undermines children's motivation for wanting to "try harder." As if the implication there is that they aren't trying hard already. Many of them are some of the hardest workers, and show the most improvement. The student this affects the most is a very common but under recognized student--those that are "gifted, but with a learning disability." That is a giant percentage of our student population (around 20-30%). We have very gifted children with learning differences who are trying harder than kids who end up with these awards and they are not recognized and that is absolutely inappropriate. Those kids DO suffer from that because it sets the stage internalizing the dialogue that "no matter how hard I try, I haven't been externally rewarded with my peers, who all must be better than me." This is particularly troublesome in middle school, where kids are watching who gets what awards and they start to form opinions of others based on these accolades.
Children's academic, art/music/achievements (or lack there of) are the personal business of themselves and their families and the teacher, and shouldn't be put on public display for their peers (or other parents) to make judgments upon. School awards tend to reward one type of student, one who fits the mold. They are not ALWAYS a good reflection of a student's growth, or effort on school tasks.
Awards in school should not be stopped.
Because they make the students feel happy about themselves.
This is important because they will try harder to learn and do the event in which there is an award.
Thank you so so so much for reading my argument, I hope you enjoyed.
I will be back to write if this comment recives 10 replies.
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