Award for toughest student?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by iteachbx, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 6, 2013

    So last year we did a big end of year party with a writing celebration and our end of year movie. This year we don't really have a writing piece to celebrate the party because the kids are sharing those pieces at a multicultural celebration the week before. So I wanted to give out awards instead.

    Maybe my brain is just lazy at this point of the year, but I'm really struggling with coming up with something positive to come up with an award for one student. After this year he's being moved to a school that will better suit his needs. He's done very little work this year which one decreased as the year went on. Due to the lack of work he's obviously made minimal, minimal progress. He's shown no improvement in his behavior or his ability to control himself. The other awards kids are getting are things like "most improved in reading" "friend to everyone" "most improved behavior" "most helpful" etc.

    I don't want to give him something that he doesn't deserve but of course I have to plan on him being there that day and I need to give him something. As much as I don't want to spend another minute with this kid after what he's put me through this year I do genuinely feel sorry for him and his situation. He deserves to get an award just like everyone else, but it needs to be something appropriate. He's had a special behavior plan and special circumstances for everything all year long. Of course there was a reason for this and I understand it, but the kids sat by and watching him throw 3 tantrums and get a prize at the end of the day because he behaved for one period, or sit through a writing celebration and get a cupcake afterwards even though he refused to write the piece. I don't want them to end the year seeing him get an award for something he didn't earn. Is that horrible of me?
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jun 6, 2013

    I don't think so, but I am sure there are others that would differ. Is there something you have noticed for which he has a talent? Hoola-hooping, even?
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jun 6, 2013

    I don't like that idea. How about most brave or most courageous?
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jun 6, 2013

    Is there something that he has done with other adults in the school that you could give him an award for? Does he keep his desk neat? Is he the first to return forms that you send home? Even though he is not working, is he sitting quieter at his desk? Is he answering more questions during group activities? Is he artistic? Is he calming down faster after tantruming? Is he athletic?

    Since you are with him all day it is hard to see the small improvements that he has made. Try asking another staff member if they have seen any improvements in him.
     
  6. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Best line leader...best hugger....best laugh
     
  7. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Jun 6, 2013

    I'm an ED teacher so I have a soft spot for these kids. There must be something seriously wrong with me, heh.

    Since he's moving to a new school, why not a special certificate and little "we'll miss you" award?
     
  8. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Jun 7, 2013

    GREAT idea. Something in conjunction with him moving makes a lot of sense.
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    It's not official yet because the school is going to be taking his dad to an impartial hearing because he's refusing to agree to anything for this poor kid. There's no way with the reports we have, classroom anecdotes and incident reports that the father could win this. So I won't be able to bring it up at the time of the party.
     
  10. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 7, 2013

    I could maybe tie it to something in music. But literally the answers to everything else are no. That's how badly this poor kid needs to be in a different setting with more counseling.
     
  11. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    Jun 7, 2013

    I remember these ceremonies being pretty humiliating as a child - I had teachers do them up till middle school. At least in high school I was left out of it. (I apologize for being so negative about this, I just remember hating them as a kid since some kids would get better awards and I tended to get backhanded compliments as awards.)

    Anyway, I immediately thought about The Office after reading your thread. The boss gave one of his employees the "whitest sneakers" award. Would something similar to that work or are the awards academically involved?
     
  12. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Jun 7, 2013

    Aw, poor kid. Dads seem to fight behavior placements more than Moms---or at least that's been my own personal experience.

    Maybe you could tie it to a hobby or interest or favorite singer/etc? Call him an "expert" on whatever the subject is?

    I do think it's great you're trying to include him and putting so much thought into this. :)
     
  13. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Mom is all for doing whatever we want. Except she's totally uninvolved in his life and shows up whenever she pleases so she's really no help. He could have gotten help much sooner if the dad wasn't so stubborn in fighting us each step of the way. The school has bent over backwards to give him options.

    I think I will tie it to a hobby he's into music- maybe something with that. Or possibly participation. Even though he rarely sits for a lesson when he does he will participate. (He doesn't raise his hand but that's beyond the point lol)
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 7, 2013

    This is my feeling as well. Do we really think the kids don't realize some of the awards were just made up to make sure everyone got one? What does that do to the "value" of the other awards? To quote Syndrome from The Incredibles, "When everyone is special, then nobody will be special."

    And I wouldn't be surprised at all if those who received academic awards use that as a chance to tell other kids they didn't get a "real" award, they just got one that was made up. I understand the philosophy behind the awards, I just don't feel it really does what the schools want it to do.

    As for the child in question, I truly sympathize for the circumstances he is going through (whatever they may be). Nothing upsets me more than parents who ignore the awesome privilege (and also the awesome responsibility) of having a child in their care. My heart absolutely breaks for kids in these circumstances, but it isn't as if the school has ignored the situation or been indifferent to it. In fact, it sounds as if the school has made every accommodation possible based on the situation and the child has learned that he will be "rewarded" even when he gives no effort at all, so how does that provide an incentive for him to show any improvement? The other kids will see this as well and may wonder why they have to work when "Johnny" gets to sit and do nothing and still get candy.

    Even though I don't agree with the practice of giving everyone awards, I do appreciate the time, effort and thought you are putting into this.
     
  15. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 7, 2013

    It's very informal, it's just going to be done in our classroom and we're inviting the AP and parents, so its not like we're making a big deal out of it. We're doing it the same time we're going to have a little movie "premiere" of the video I made from our pictures from the year so most of the kids will be more focused on that than the awards anyway. They're all going to get a copy of the video to go home with.

    Since we're just making them up on our own they don't need to be academic. I'm definitely leaning towards something related to a hobby.
     
  16. Alizeh

    Alizeh Rookie

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    Jun 7, 2013

    I had the same experience as a child. I remember in 1st grade, we each got certificates based on our accomplishments the end of the year. I had good behavior, but I didn't have many friends, I wasn't an exceptional student academically, and I was extremely quiet. My certificate said I was a good listener, which honestly made me feel bad because it was apparent that my award wasn't as good as some of the other awards and was given because there was nothing else to say about me. I'm not a huge fan of ceremonies like this for this reason and I also found them to be humiliating.
     

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