The experience that a student has at school today will differ greatly from that from 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. Practices have changed and so has how students are recognized for their achievements – which has been the topic of some controversy in itself.
While we won’t get into that, we will focus on how students are recognized for their achievements, both academic and otherwise. Not all achievements at school are academic, with many taking part in extra-curricular activities.
While grades will always take precedence, other awards should also be considered for students – especially those of whom who have gone the extra mile, as well as those who may benefit from a timely morale booster. Here, we will look at some of the achievements that can and should be recognized, and the best means of doing so.
Student of the Week
This first achievement can be rewarded based on academic credit or for other reasons, such as a display of kindness, helpfulness and/or generosity. A good example could be as recognition for a student who has gone out of their way to help a new boy or girl bed in, or someone who volunteered outside of school hours to help with an event.
Recognizing such achievements, even the small ones, sets a positive example that not only makes the recipient feel good about themselves but also encourages others to follow suit. Positive role models can be few and far between for impressionable school children, so recognizing when someone has done well can serve the purpose of creating their own role models.
What you choose to give students as a token of this recognition doesn’t have to break the bank. A small trophy or award will suffice that can be transferred from one winner to the next. A small resin trophy or engraved glass award, stating the award name, won’t cost too much but could mean the world to whoever the lucky recipient is.
Sports, for many students, are their favorite part of school because it gives them an outlet to express themselves. This could be because they have a particular passion for the sport. After all, they like to get outside of the normal classroom environment, or because they excel at sport rather than traditional core academic subjects.
Recognizing students for sporting achievements is good, because this may be the only recognition that some receive for the reasons listed above. Some students are more practical than others, which is a large part of why they perform better in sport. Not only that, but often students are representing the school when competing – either as a team or individually – which can earn positive PR for the school.
Has one of your students achieved something particularly noteworthy? If so, let the whole universe need to know about it. You can do this by including a mention in a school release that goes out to students, teachers and parents, in a post on the school’s website or even a press release sent to local/national media.
This doubles up as fantastic PR for the school, which will have a named mention as part of a positive story, as well as highlighting the student’s own achievement. While this may not be a physical reward as such, recognized students may save such mentions in a scrapbook that they can look back on in years to come. This also gives their family something to show friends and family when talking about their children!
On the Board
In the cases of work that has achieved exceptional grades, there is no better way to recognize this than by showing it off. Display boards in classrooms and corridors are fantastic for showing off the best of the best, especially any artwork that makes for a visual delight. Students will take great pride in seeing their work put up for all to see, and this can also provide a good example as to the standard of work expected for other students.
The heightened sense of self-worth that students will feel makes this a great idea alone but also makes for a great display for any open days where the school is showing around potential new students and teachers. Again, another great way of recognizing a student’s achievement alongside pushing the school in a positive light.
Giving certificates has long been a method for schools to recognise their students’ achievements, and there are many reasons why. Firstly, it is a cost-effective means of giving the student something they can display, as all that is need is some paper, a printer and a laminator if you want to provide a good finish. Secondly, templates for certificates can be saved, so it takes very little time and effort to create a new certificate.
For students, this means they can easily display their certificates at home – likely on their bedroom wall. They take up very little room, but they hold real value to the student who has been recognised.
These are just some of the popular ways of recognizing your students’ achievements and why they work well, not just for the recipient but for the school, too.