Awards at School A Good Thing?

Well it is that time of year again where our school looks at rewarding students for hard work. This is a great thing that we do to try to keep students motivated and on task at school; however, over the years this award ceremony has grown larger and larger. Not that that is a bad thing by any means, but this year they asked me to create a database so that they can find students and list off their various awards quickly and efficiently. I was up for the task and thought that it would be lots of fun to create a fun little database for awards. As I was planning out my database, a thought came to mind.

If we have to create a database to keep track of awards, are we giving too many awards? Does giving almost everyone in the school really keep kids motivated and on task at school? Or do they see this as a joke with no real merit? I thought back to last year and remembered all of the certificates that I found in the hall after last year’s assembly. I remember students’ comments about their stupid awards and how many were just not impressed by their awards. The effort here by the staff is wonderful and well meaning, but is this truly what is best for kids? Does this type of reward system prepare them for the real world? As the real world becomes more global for jobs, isn’t competition going to get tougher and should we not be instilling the need to compete in our students?  I guess I worry that our focus on feelings is clouding our judgment in preparing them for the future.

My database came out great, and we have 250 awards and a school of 300.
What are your thoughts?


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