Wit & Wisdom

Game Changers & Tales of Triumph and Woe

How about a Family Awards Ceremony?

CJ Westerberg, May 21, 2011 7:41 PM

family awards.Wejr.jpg

Editor's Note:  
The
Daily Riff has featured posts by principal, Chris Wejr,
who is outspoken in his critiques of Award Ceremonies in school
(among
other topics), such as here and here, so naturally we were surprised
when we came upon this post.
 

With that being said, you MUST read the entire post for its full effect.
                                                   -C.J. Westerberg

The Wejr Family Awards
by Chris Wejr

As we approach May, and now that I have 2 daughters, it is time to continue a long standing Wejr Family tradition - the "Weejies" -  The Wejr Family Awards.

Growing up, I was an A student and a decent athlete so I always looked forward to the day when my parents invited my family over to watch me beat out my sister for the academic and athletic awards.  I really think this helped me to become successful in the "competitive real world" and losing these awards motivated my sister to try harder.  She was brilliant in areas such as care, friendship, and family but always needed a little boost in her quest for the important real world things like grades and trophies.  Although we were two years apart and developed at different rates, I believe that it was important for her to learn how to lose and see that there are people better than her and that she needed to work harder in areas that were important, not to her, but to my parents.

So now, my wife and I have decided to continue on this journey.  Our first Wejr Family Awards have been discussed.  We have one daughter that was born 3 lbs heavier than the other(they are twins).  She has developed a few weeks ahead so is going to clean up this year! 
We are so proud and excited for her.  Our other daughter will be motivated by these awards (that have nothing to do with development, of course) and will try harder to maybe be the first to walk or even talk!  (I look forward to grading them in their journey to walk and ride a bike -
its important that they know where they are at and what better way of showing them this than
a letter grade?). 

The key here is that by encouraging our children to strive for these awards, and defeat
the other, they will achieve more and be pushed toward a more successful career
in the real world.  I know that without these awards, given once a year at the end of the
school year, my girls will struggle to see the value in learning and helping others.  That is
why I am so excited to continue the tradition of - "The Weejies".

Obviously we would NEVER do this to our kids - so the question is: WHY DO WE DO
THIS IN SCHOOLS?

NOTE: I want to thank my parents for always encouraging and seeing the strengths and interests in their children.  My sister and I had completely different strengths and because of my parents, my sister continues to be my best friend and teach me so many things in areas in which she excels: compassion, care, and family.

###

Chris Wejr is school principal at Kent Elementary School in British Columbia.  He has spent his career working with students as a high school physical education, math, and science teacher, an intermediate teacher, an elementary vice-principal, as well as a high school volleyball, rugby, track, and basketball coach. You can find him at The Wejr Board. 



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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
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