Cameras flash, flowers and balloons are even given to the happy first graders. Some moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas stay for lunch. This is what is going right in our schools!
What? What about the other students? Where were the non-A Honor Roll and AB Honor Roll first graders OR the students with all A's or A's and B's but their conduct kept them away from the coveted certificate with the shiny seal? They are sitting on the floor near the wall watching their peers (or at least pretending.)
"This will encourage them to do better next quarter." says a teacher.
"Yes," a parent chimes in, "they need to have goals and role models like these."
I recently attended one of these assemblies and while maybe they are meant to be celebratory and fun, they are a shame. They are outdated and in poor taste. I feel so strongly about this as both a teacher and a mother. I am so proud to teach in an elementary school where we respect all students and their personal goals.
This one size fits all/none assemblies are ridiculous on sooo many levels, but here are a few:
1. What a waste of instructional time. Seriously. Instead of having this "to do" four times a year, how about you go work with a few struggling students, challenge the gifted, or plan a hands on event for everyone?
2. Those sidelined students are NOT learning from this experience. It is instead making them feel worse about themselves 4 times a year. It is shameful....not for them, but the grownups in charge.
3. The students receiving the certificates are happy, but would be just as happy carrying that certificate home on the bus....maybe even with a personal note from the teacher!
4. Attendance awards, ooh, I won't even go there. NOT IN A CHILD's CONTROL!!! Sorry, I said I wouldn't go there!
Can we please, pretty please with sugar on top, discuss a better way to celebrate student success?