It’s nearing the end of the school year and time for the annual award distributions. We hand out certificates, trophies, and compile lists of achievements in almost any and every category. Whether in the early grades or at graduation, we seek to point out accomplishments of students. I am guessing that if we could sit down and talk for a few minutes, dear reader, that we would share some mixed feelings about this end of year ritual.
This is an area of our school life that poses potentially large risks to our mission. It is an area that goes largely unexamined and one where we quickly adopt the practices of other schools. It is what we get excited about that speaks the loudest message to our students. I am concerned that sometimes what we do in awards assemblies may actually contradict the kinds of thoughtful work that we have done throughout many previous months and years.
I don’t have the answer to this, but am providing some questions below that might be useful in generating conversations within faculties.
Click here to read the list of questions and to leave a comment. Please feel free to leave a comment on this blog, too.