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Awards Day Plans

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I’m going to have some fun before I call it quits for tonight. I am going to create the Awards Day form for our teachers to list the students being recognized for outstanding performances. The reviewers need it by tomorrow morning, so I am on a deadline. This blog will be shorter than usual.

Last week, while talking with the school’s principal, we discovered that we had different ideas about what an awards ceremony should look like for the school. At my former school, it was a big deal. We gave out trophies, ribbons, medallions, certificates, and pins. Students received awards for scholarship, behavior, citizenship, effort, and attendance. Teachers received awards; parents volunteers received trophies; business partners received recognition. The winners had their names listed in fancy programs and everyone dressed up for the ceremonies.

At the schools that my son and daughter attended, this never happened. Although they attended some of the most sought after schools, the awards were scant. Usually, they gave out chintzy homemade certificates or tiny trophies. It was a different type of environment. I guess the values were different.

Mr. Johnson’s plan was somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. As we talked, he said “I’ll let you do it your way, since this is our first time.” He told me that he understood that this was something special to me and he was not threatened or feeling micromanaged because I wanted to be involved with the schools awards. Actually, he has a committee to do the real work. I just get to name the awards and write up the criteria for them. I also get to shop for bargains at a couple of local trophy stores that have reopened since Katrina.

It is a real pleasure to work with this man. He shares ideas with me and the other Board members before we have a chance to ask. His willingness to ask us what we think makes him easy to work with. The frequency that we have similar ideas is amazing. He is always open-minded and focused on the big picture. He accepts criticism well and brings out the best in people. I am surprised and delighted at the teachers who are showing leadership and planning skills.

As I was preparing to leave the school today, he invited me to his faculty meeting to discuss the need for teachers to get involved in recruitment of students for next year. I politely declined the invitation. It was his meeting and I didn’t want anyone to think I want to do his job. However, I am happy to do some of the work—the fun stuff.

5 Comments

I agree with you; awards when done well can be great motivators. One thing I did at Livingston MS was to have two national Music award plaques; the child/children's names were engraved on it and it was hung in an appropriate place. Each child got their own mini-plaque (or a NICE certificate) when they earned this honor. The plaques came with me when I left in 1992; they still hang in my classroom here, and I look at those student's names and remember the good times, always.

Thanks for a great idea. I'm going to suggest a class picture of the eighth graders to hang in a special place. Schools used to do this all the time, but I haven't seen it lately. If we do any type of top student award, I'll suggest your idea.

At MY school, Dr. Albert Einstein Academy, we hold The Academy Awards annually. Only outstanding students and their guests are invited due to space limitations. We have formal invitations. The majority of the students that attend this ceremony are dressed in evening gowns and suits. We get he honor of walking the red carpet with live media (school media)interviewing students. The school rents two or three limos for children to take their pictures in front of. While kids are getting their pictures taken and during the hour or so before the actual ceremony the guests and students get a chance to socialize with each other while the teachers and staff members (dressed formally in black and white) serve hot hors d'oeuvres and drinks. The students each receive a certificate and a medal to commemerate their crowning achievements of the school year. It would be nicer if we recieved trophies like at the Oscars and Emmys. I would think they would at least have the Birdie (or Bertie) award. Afterall, our mascot is an eagle!!!!!

We have some local role model as a speaker to make it even more special

Hi Alexis,
It's great to hear from you. Please continue to share your ideas with us. I like the description of your school's ceremonies. Depending upon the number of honorees this year, we may shift to an awards night such as you described in the future.

This year, since we just started, we want all of the students to know that they have the opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishments in a significant manner. Hopefully, it will give them something toward which they will work harder.

We will use your idea of the invitations for parents of this year's award winners. Thanks for the suggestion. Say hello to everyone for me.

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  • Roslyn: Hi Alexis, It's great to hear from you. Please continue read more
  • Alexis: We have some local role model as a speaker to read more
  • Alexis: At MY school, Dr. Albert Einstein Academy, we hold The read more
  • Roslyn: Thanks for a great idea. I'm going to suggest a read more
  • Dr. Tim Mooney: I agree with you; awards when done well can be read more

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