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?