I always thought that competition is an excellent way to motivate kids. Many times, I made contests in the class, competitions, etc. I always found it that extra bit more fun when I was a student, if I had to compete against some other students.Recently, however, I find that competition is not for everyone. Most students really enjoy the sense of play, the sense of fun in beating or trying to beat their opponent in a silly competition, but for some kids competition evokes the exact opposite effect. Some students just shut down - they don't see the point of playing when they have no chance of winning.
I decided to make a list of things I think are good and bad (my pros and cons) about ...view middle of the document...
The younger the kid, the easier they get frustrated, and the competition won't work. Younger kids don't understand that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, therefore losing is a very traumatic experience.
3. Some students don't do well under pressure at all. You must know your students well to know which students can succeed under pressure, and which will not. Usually the ones that do well win a stressful situation should enjoy a friendly competition. Those kids that blank out during tests will not enjoy the competition either.
I find that school is all about competition anyway. When we give grades or stickers, we compare the students amongst each other. Even if the students don't know what other students got on a test or report card, we give them an understanding that an A is the best (like winning) and F is that they lost completely.
I actually had the opportunity to take a whole degree (my education degree) where there were no grades - just a pass or fail. I thought this degree to be a joke. I no longer felt I had to do my best. I knew that even my worst would allow me to pass the courses and I would get my degree. I always blaimed my lack of enthusiasm for the courses on the silly "no mark" system. But sometimes I wonder if I was just programmed by my previous schools and my parents, that this reward system, this mark system, this competition in my blood, made me not care about learning how to teach, because there was no carrot at the end of the string.
I wonder if I am...