The world is a complicated place. Children are constantly pitted against one another, and they are expected to give their best at all times. Kids are naturally competitive, which is fine as long as the school competition is productive. While it is important to maintain that competitive spirit, it is also necessary to tell them where the line is. You should not just encourage your students to compete but also teach them how to deal with competition. This will help students grow in any type of competitive environment. Let us see what are the few ways through which you can help your students deal with competition.
Strategies to Help Students Grow
Following are the strategies that you as a teacher can use to help your students grow in a competitive environment.
Praise Your Students When They Make an Effort
What you tell your student after they finish the task well is important. These remarks have a big impact on the child and help them build a positive self-image. An experiment conducted at Stanford University by Growth Mindset found some surprising insights. Students' performance dropped after being labeled "smart." The body of research led by Carol Dweck revealed surprising responses from children regarding “praise”. When praising, choose your words carefully. Make sure to compliment students for their efforts for the results rather than the results themselves. After a test, calling a child "smart" takes away their incentive to continue working hard. Praise for hard work enhances its significance in the mind of a child. This is a great way to help students grow in a competitive environment.
For example - if you are asking students to draw a diagram of a flower, some students might draw a beautiful flower while others might not. In this case, praise the ones who drew beautifully and praise the hard work of the students who didn’t draw properly. This will encourage them to try harder and improve their skills.
Encourage Students to Ask for Help
You as a teacher should make students understand that taking help from others is normal. Make it clear to your students that it is acceptable to seek assistance when they are having difficulty learning. It is never necessary for someone to figure out everything on their own. Knowing this will allow students to ask a fellow student for assistance without feeling inferior. This behavior helps a child build a positive personality. They are just as good as anybody else, even though he or she does not know things that others do. Instill a desire to learn from one another rather than a desire to outperform one another.
Improving Teamwork and Collaboration
The "Competition vs. Collaboration" debate is one of the most popular concerns and misconceptions surrounding the educational competitive environment. Everyone often believes that competition is the opposite of cooperation but when broken down, well-structured, purposefully designed competitions enhance collaboration and teamwork. Most team-based educational competitions challenge students to complete difficult tasks that necessitate effective communication, collaboration, and teamwork. The fact that they are attempting to complete such a difficult assignment jointly motivates them to work harder at knowing their skills and how to collaborate effectively. The knowledge that other teams are attempting to achieve the same goals motivates them to become more cohesive and better collaborators.
Providing Intrinsic Motivation
It is often argued that by introducing external incentives, we end up diminishing students' intrinsic motivation since we emphasize the worth of the activity as only being useful because of an external reward. We've learned how to handle incentives correctly in the world of competition design and competitive environment. Simply incentivizing a task that demands even a little effort with a monetary reward is not an effective motivator. Creating a purposeful, complex, and challenging task is a good incentive.
Teaching Them To Deal With Losing
When competing against other children, students must understand how to deal with defeat. If this component of the competition is not addressed, it might have a negative impact on children. It is critical to teach youngsters that it is okay to lose. Encourage children to join in the celebration of others' victories. Even when they lose, students must understand that learning a lesson from the loss is the best return gift. Instilling this attitude in students promotes the development of a positive personality as they mature.
Mental toughness is comprised of persistence, resiliency, and grit. These vital real-world abilities are useful in all aspects of our lives. When faced with difficult circumstances, students can learn to pick themselves up and try again. Through their involvement, they can learn that not getting the greatest grades is not the end of the path, but rather a stepping stone and an amazing learning experience. Limiting students' participation in a competitive environment during their initial years of education can have a significant negative impact on their future careers.
Benefits of Competition in School
One important reason educational institutions must incorporate competitions into their curriculum is to ensure that their students are prepared. Life after school can be difficult, especially for unprepared children. They must understand what to expect and that things will not always go their way. The benefits of implementing healthy competition are mentioned as follows.
Students Get Motivated
The basic reason for competition is to get inspired. Motivation thrives in competitive environments for students. While the students are competing, they are challenged to put forth their best effort to succeed.
Overcome a setback
Students push themselves and make their best efforts, but they may not succeed. This failure may motivate them to strive harder, and it will educate them on where they went wrong and where they need to focus their efforts to succeed. This would instill a work ethic among students.
Competition drives students to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and take risks to succeed. To achieve success, students often engage in activities with which they are unfamiliar. Students tend to take risks, such as joining in a new activity or competing in races. All these risks will boost their self-confidence.
Finally, it is critical to recognize that competition is neither all good nor all bad. Competition is a healthy element of life in a competitive environment that helps us flourish when the right balance is struck. However, the proper balance must be established. It is neither necessary nor appropriate for students to believe that they must be the best at everything, and you must work hard to ensure that your students understand this crucial lesson.
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