This year as a staff, we’ve spent lots of time discussing awards. Should we have Award Ceremonies? Should we not have Award Ceremonies? How do they make students feel? I’m a big believer in intrinsic motivation, and I’ve read numerous amazing blog posts by Chris Wejr, George Couros, and Joe Bower that all speak to eliminating awards. I absolutely embrace this philosophy!
Right now though, I also feel very hypocritical. You see, today the news became official: I’m one of the national recipients for the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. This has been one of the hardest secrets I’ve ever had to keep. I can still remember when I was told the news 15 minutes before the bell rang on the first day of school: Wow! Talk about an exciting start to the school year!
I think that the news has been surreal up until now, and it still kind of feels that way. The truth is that I feel overjoyed and so appreciative of my principal, Paul Clemens, who nominated me for this award, and the hours of time he spent organizing the package and writing the nomination letter! I also can’t thank the parents and administrators enough that wrote absolutely lovely letters of support. I wouldn’t even be talking about this award if it weren’t for all of you! I’m very grateful to all of the educators, administrators, support staff, and parents that have supported me over the years. I’ve learned so much from all of you!
Yes, today I feel very happy about winning, but I also know that winning hasn’t changed me as a teacher. I do what I do because I love kids! I do what I do because I believe in the power of education. I do what I do because I want to see ALL kids succeed, and I know that they can. I do what I do because nothing makes me happier than teaching, and I’m thrilled that I get to do what I love every single day. This is intrinsic motivation, and this is what I want for students.
What are your thoughts on awards? Does winning an award, change things for you? How? I’d love to continue the discussion on this great topic!