02 September 2012
Student of the Week - what to do about awards and recognition...
Sometimes parents ask us why we don’t 'do' Student of the Week on Assembly every Friday to recognise those students in each class who are performing and achieving well. Our decision not to do this was made before we opened and was influenced by our philosophy about providing an environment where all children will choose to work towards their potential in academic and social endeavours.
Strategies such as Student of the Week rarely motivate children to achieve more or behave appropriately – in fact they can often have to opposite effect of creating resentment amongst students who have not been awarded a Student of the Week award, despite achieving well and behaving well all the time. Student of the Week often turns into a turn-taking event in which students are picked based on some nebulous criteria because ‘they haven’t had one all year’. Children are very quick to see through these sorts of strategies.
At Peregian Springs SS we want to recognise all students for doing well at the times they are doing it. All students can aspire to this. Each class has their own way of recognising the great work kids are doing and we use assembly to congratulate those students (all those students) who are achieving above and beyond expectations in their academic, sporting and social endeavours.
I love to see our kids proudly standing for the whole group with smiles on their faces – and equally I love to see the rest of the school rejoicing in each individual’s achievement. Student of the Week becomes a routine activity that looses meaning in this context.