Question

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11 thoughts on “Question”

  1. I say pins only for the ones who really worked. Maybe four or five per class. My sense is that there is a small group like that who need to be recognized in front of the group. If you can find a clearly defined line there between that small group and the next tier then I would personally do it that way. I would take a few minutes at the beginning of a class sometime in the next few weeks and thank them for supporting your vision so well. In this country we coddle kids and reward them too much. They expect an award for everything.

  2. Just a thought–you could give awards to kids’ homeroom teachers to give to students so it isn’t glaringly obvious that most of the class is getting one but not all, if that’s a concern.

  3. Their “award” IMHO should be the satisfaction of having worked hard and learned a ton. I’d get them to look at how much longer their speedwrites are…

    1. I second Chris here. Show them and point out their progress, tell them you’re proud of them in ways that will remind them what they’ve done and can continue to do.
      And even tho an “award” is different in nature from a “reward” (the former being more or less unexpected), you might find yourself getting into something that just isn’t worth the time and energy required. (And then again, maybe I’m just a scrooge.) If you don’t get around to awards next year, will kids feel punished? Or let down? (therefore turning effectively into a reward).
      Kids who’ve worked hard in your class presumably already got quite a nice reward… A good grade.
      Not to say that this is better, but it’s my preferred way to end the year… sitting in a group and talking about memorable moments you’ve all had together… this often lets the stars shine again and best it comes from their classmates. I conduct the discussion in English but when they bring up moments we retell some snippets in L2 to each other.

    1. Agreed. Depends on the family, but I think for some students, telling the student how you appreciate them in a way that their parents also see goes very far.
      It’s very generous to consider using your own money for the students, but I personally would not spend my own money for this kind of reason.

  4. Thanks all! You all gave me some different perspectives to think about. In the past the year has just always ended, and I never feel I do anything to “close it” well. I like all of these ideas and will have to ponder them.

  5. In our district, ALL awards are provided by/funded by teachers. Some departments chip in for a senior award and every teacher is “expected” to provide recognition to students in the form of certificates, gift cards, money etc. I’ve always loved doing it, but have rarely had the money, so it has often been heart-wrenching. It isn’t easy telling your own children that no, we are not buying that this month because I have to pay for student awards. In addition, we are expected to provide (again money/gift card/gift) at least one award at the Senior Banquet to one (or more) outstanding seniors.
    The typical department award is $100 for a senior. For a department of 10, that is $10 per teacher. For our department it’s over $30. Each year we get a “thank you” letter ( 8 principals in 29 years….same form letter….) However, in May we also get a “reminder” form letter that these awards are coming up, please prepare.
    I love being able to give what, and when, I can. But this “requirement” really fries me. Of course, it isn’t really required, but it is expected and every student, parent and staff member is very aware if you don’t give anything.
    For me, it takes away from the entire process. What is worse is that there is never mention that the teachers pay for these things. It appears to students and to parents that it comes from the “school”.
    Gratefully, students are wonderful about saying thank you.
    Sorry, just had to get that rant off my chest !!! (When I retire, my principal and I will be having a discussion about this!!)
    with love,
    Laurie

    1. Yikes! I am appalled by this. Yeah, it’s nice if a teacher wants to use his or her own money to buy something for a student, but to have it be expected by everyone seems really bizarre. Why isn’t it part of the budget?

  6. Alisa Shapiro

    That’s not nice, or honest, or fair:{
    The only way to change things would be to agitate – and have a stop action. Who wants their name on that?

  7. Had to grit my teeth today when the principal reminded us at the department chair meeting that we needed to get these in as soon as possible!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRR
    with love,
    Laurie

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