EMG Quote of the Week – There’s no competition in the classroom
Looking at this quote I’m not sure that I totally agree with this statement. We are faced with a competitive world and we need to teach our children how to navigate through this, giving them experiences to be tested and stretched. But this should also occur within reason. Constant defeat to a child can do irreparable damage to their self esteem and their vision of being successful. There definitely is a tension of opposites in this. It’s important to teach students to set goals and markers for achievement, pursue them and then reflect on their level of achievement with this. The aim of competition should be to build up a child in terms of achievement and resilience – this will prepare them for the world, a competitive world to say the least.
When we talk about motivation, we usually start with an external prize and then try to move it towards an internal gratification. It’s important that both of these are used. Setting goals for a sense of achievement is important but also to have some reward of acknowledgement is huge as well. If we link it to love languages, there are different strokes for different folks. Some will love the competition and some will hate it. Some will love a particular reward scheme, whilst others will be the quiet achievers. It’s picking what works best for each child and going with that. It’s not a one size fits all with this at all. Each child is an individual and it’s the role of the educator to find how best they tick. A huge responsibility yet also a huge privilege.
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Written by Michael Dunn – EMG Consultant and Primary Teacher