Day 165 (of 186) track & field & ribbons….for all? for some? – competition
Had most of my class at our district Track and Field event – which meant it was a “different” learning day in the classroom (we took in the 7/8 class for the morning…we did “tech station tuesday”….we did some art…. while those that CHOSE to go to the District Track and Field event….and I say “chose” mindfully….because there are ribbons involved….and as Highlander said: There Can Be Only One!! and this is hard for some kids…
One student came back more glum than the others. She hadn’t won any ribbons. I re-emphasized the fun moments I had heard about for the day – and she admitted that the day was fun but the reflection was that “it was okay…but I’d have more fun if I got a ribbon. I like ribbons”.
And this is a valid comment – and on that I still say is important as people like to mock this as an era when “everyone gets a ribbon” – because I believe there are times and events where EVERYONE should get a ribbon: the times where the kids don’t really have a choice. That includes spelling bees, science fairs etc where the kids are told they are participating by their teacher….I even expand that to karate and soccer when it is the parents decision that they are doing it.
But then there is an evolution. When students choose to play for school sports (usually volleyball, basketball, cross country running etc) there should be a change over time – early years (grade 4-7) everyone can win – scores should be interesting, and even matter a bit…but less so at the start. When it becomes MORE of an AUTHENTIC CHOICE by the student to take part in competitions – as it is for our District Track and Field event, and for older years of school sports….and as my daughter chose to play for a competitive rep soccer team rather than “just” house programs….when there is choice for competition. She knew there there may be days when they will be shut out 12-0 and she can’t quit or be sad – competition means scores count and matter.
When we choose for kids to try a competition – hopefully it is for intrinsic reasons – to try and see if its “liked enough” to become more competitive. Grade 12 basketball is for scholarships….grade 8 basketball, while competitive, is more about finding out who really wants to play a sport such as this….
So…when you don’t get a ribbon, hopefully you know before you don’t get one the “why” behind whether “everyone gets A ribbon” or “one person gets THE ribbon” because for some….the ribbon isn’t worth it, but for some the ribbon is the only reason for it….