Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Award Ceremonies - Bad Momma Thoughts

Today I had two awards ceremonies to go to.  Anthony's at 8:30 and Larissa's at 10.

Anthony's was in the cafeteria.  It was agonizingly long.  I know, bad momma statement.  We were sitting on tiny cafeteria seats while they paraded the kids up.  OK, 3/4 of the fifth grade got stuff for PE and art, that took forever.  The same 4 kids got all the top 4 academic awards.  The kids were getting louder and louder.  The parents were shuffling around. Babies were crying. People were leaving. It was just too long.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for honoring the children's accomplishments. Truly I am.  But....perhaps it was the headache that I woke up with that put me out of sorts.  It had gone away until about an hour into the awards ceremony when it came back with a vengeance.

I watched Anthony walk across to get his 5th grade graduation certificate and then I had to run over to Larissa's class.

She was giving the welcome parent speech and was watching for me.

I love her teacher.  She had all the kids sitting in one area and had them stand while she called their names for their awards.  At the end of each category we clapped for the accomplishments.  Then at the end she gave each kid a folder with all of their certificates along with a copy of the class video.

After the awards we watched the class video and then had refreshments.  Larissa and I then ran out to go to Anthony's award ceremony.  It was now close to 11.  We walked in just in time for the lights to come on after they watched their 5th grade video.  We then got more snacks and cake and went in search of Anthony.  He didn't even know that I left!  He did say that it was too long and he slept through some of it. I think that a 2 1/2 hour award ceremony is just too long.

Perhaps I am a little jaded by award ceremonies.  My child who has had behavior issues all year and on the verge of failing came home with a stack of awards that she was so proud of. Basically they were awards for being there.  To me, really not much value.  The invitations say that all kids will get awards.  Hmm, may be not all kids should.  However, awarding effort I am all for.  Larissa got an award for most improved in math.  She is far from the best in math but for her she improved the most.  She put in effort. That means more to me than an award for always having a book at reading time (one of Michelle's awards). To me that is just a filler award, they feel that they have to give something so they make up stuff.  The most important award Michelle got was her promotion to the 5th grade.  Honestly, it was the only one she should have gotten because Michelle has the ability to do so much but instead did so little.

On the other hand, I have children with special needs who work so hard and typically get so little. They aren't the top in the class so are not awarded, I understand that. However, I do appreciate when they award for effort and improvement.

My thoughts on awards ceremonies may not be popular, but it is where I have gotten after over 20 years of attending them.. What are your feelings on awards ceremonies?


  1. Each quarter Jasmine and Kayla's school does the A/B honor roll and Bobcat Pride awards. Each letter stands for something so several kids from each grade get an award each quarter. It takes less than half an hour. I don't even know if Kayla has an end of the year award ceremony. But I'm like you, she has had behavior problems all year and does very little of her homework well. Her grades are not good. I hoping they do not just make up awards to keep from hurting anyone's feelings. On the other hand, I hate that Jasmine gets overlooked a lot because her grades are average and her behavior is good but not noticeably so as far as getting reconition. But she really tries. She got a Pride award in 5th and again this year. I know exactly which two teachers nominated her because they were both so supportive of her effort and attitude. Two and a half hours. You have to be kidding!!!!!!

  2. I love honest awards ceremonies. W's awards ceremony was honest. She received one award...for having the top grammar scores in the grade. All sorts of other awards were given, and they were all awards that were earned by hard work. There were a few character awards, a few most improved awards, a few leadership awards, and achievements awards, in a addition to teacher's choice awards for the student in each class who showed the most passion and heart. It lasted 1 hour, and included all students in 6th and 7th grade. There were not awards for everyone...only those who had earned them. At K's awards ceremony, they gave all the Honor Roll certificates (Principal's Honor Roll for straight A's and A/B Honor Roll), Sunshine State medals for those who had read 11/15 Sunshine State books and passed the AR tests, Most Improved awards for reading and math, Greatest SRI Gain award (which Kate earned), Coach's Choice (for hardest working P.E. student), and a character award to one student from each class. It was a 45-minute ceremony that parents were not invited to, due to space concerns. The others didn't have awards ceremonies.

  3. Oh...last year, J's teacher did an awards ceremony for her class only. The awards were unique to each child, and honored something special about them. J won the WordMaster award because of his love for vocabulary. The awards were really special because they showed each child just how deeply Mrs. W cared for them, and how much she understood them. There was nothing pathetic or generic. I loved it.

  4. Our school is very strange for the area. Most of the schools out here do awards every quarter, and it gets a little old, but now my kids are at a charter school. They do awards at the end of the year only. For kinder, the special area teachers each give a girl and boy award for someone they think has done a spectacular job all year, and they all get a certificate of completion, and that's it. For 1st through 5th they do IB awards. There are 10 for the grade level, so you really have to be outstanding to earn something. They aren't necessarily for grades either, the IB profiles are things like Caring, Balanced, Knowledgeable, Thinker, Principled, etc. So you don't have to have top grades, but show that you are a good citizen all year long. It's not too long, and the kids who do earn awards know that it really means something. They did recognize the students who had been on honor roll and principal's list all year, but they didn't get a certificate.

  5. I love recognizing good things kids are doing. For our 8th graders (which we manage to keep at an hour for the ENTIRE 8th grade!) we do Star Roll and Honor Roll, perfect attendance, highest averages, most improved per subject, leadership, citizenship, Presidential Fitness, agriculture, technology, and extracurricular clubs. NOT every child gets an award. You do not graduate 8th grade; you complete it. You graduate high school after completing 12th grade with 26 or more of the correct credits. I'd say there were probably about 15 or 20 children who did not do anything this year worth earning an award. They still got to listen to my amazing motivational speech (3 minutes in length) about beginning the last chapter of their childhood, so use this time to figure out who you are and become the best version of that person you can become. And they got to watch the end of the year slideshow which includes each child's name in the very final frame.