Day 176 (of 187) year end awards
I like year end assemblies where we can celebrate what we’ve done. My “year in review” video is longer than our Month In Review collections (12-14 mins) but no one seems to mind 😇
What I don’t like is the sudden flurry of “oh we have awards to give out”….
and my usual question – do the kids know what they are and what they need to do to get/earn them? As a kid I totally understood the “perfect attendance” award and wondered how anyone could make it through the year without getting sick or having other distractions – though I am more aware that sometimes the “perfect attenders” are at school for a lot of reasons beyond having an amazing immune system….
But year end awards are, much like report cards, coming up to their own deadline….or at least an evolution of what we should be doing differently than we did in the past…
I have been chastised before when my oldest got a “student of the year” award when I asked her what the criteria was and she didn’t know so I bugged a friend at the school asking about criteria and can kids “compete” for an award that they don’t know how it is achieved? I was finally told to just congratulate my kid. Which I did.
But as much as I prefer the @chriswejr approach (http://chriswejr.com/strength-based-education/thoughts-on-awards-ceremonies/ ) and focus on celebrating “all” at assemblies and not just a select few, I also know that change takes time….. and when today it was brought up that an “other” for our staff meeting should be our “student of the year award”. And I paused. And asked: did the kids know what they needed to do for it….
and another pause…
with a “yes. we talked about it at the start of the year. What the award was, who it was named after and what the staff would be looking for in a grade 7 student”.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise. And I appreciate that. Because I want more ties – more “a bunch/all students reaching the goal” not trying to sort out tie breakers to figure out who was a (rather subjective) “best of the year”.
Trying to minimize the end of the year busy-ness. Never seems to happen, but always trying!