Day 151 (of 183) sorta rethinking my rethinking on awards
Not really…..I still have my bias against trophies and rewards without clearly defined rationales (what does best athlete mean – best attitude, strength, teamwork, improvement, one-sport vs mu,triple etc) and always defer to the talking/thinking/sharing and more via a variety of social media in particular with @chriswejr @scotteach @LS_karl ‘the’ read here: http://chriswejr.com/strength-based-education/thoughts-on-awards-ceremonies/
But when placing a ribbon order for a track and field event (I’m still good with rewards/prizes etc when competitions are choices – especially child choices) in my office is a boy who asked what the ribbons were for. Likely he’s a child who has not been in one of those infamous ‘everybody wins a ribbon/trophy events – nor ever will be. But his “curiosity” struck me – sure there are many who are getting ribbons and trophies for participating…..but what about those who can’t even get a participation acknowledgment (not for lack of desire).
At a recent meeting a principal shared their ‘certificates for learnt attendance’ – essentially acknowledging that extrinsic rewards are valid to build internal satisfaction. Sometimes a token is important – and why programs like PBS use them (wi the end goal that they go away….). And at least in this instance the criteria was set and anybody meeting the criteria receive an award. (This clear criteria is always important to me).
I know some in my learning community wish I was more supportive of ribbons and trophies…and those who know me know I can be competitive and will play to win…but to me context matters. Grade 11/12 sports? I can support being very competitive – but even then I still prefer a focus on skills and teamwork. Trust me – you don’t want me to only focus on wins, because so much gets pushed to the side (let alone that I’m willing to fight dirty – not out to injure and still with the rules…..) in other words – sometimes be careful what you ask for…!
But maybe I do need to find a few more ways to reach out to the part of my learning community that wants to be able to earn a trophy/certificate/acknowledgement for…….anything. Maybe it’s the time of year, but he got me thinking.