Should all students pass for the 2019-2020 school year?

Online learning has had a negative effect on all students. According to NPR, a recent survey
suggests that low-income families are 10 times more likely to admit their children are doing little
remote learning.

PHOTO BY SCOTT GRAHAM OBTAINED THROUGH UNSPLASH

Online learning has had a negative effect on all students. According to NPR, a recent survey suggests that low-income families are 10 times more likely to admit their children are doing little remote learning.

Tess Rempel

As children grow older, the necessity of participation awards often comes into question. It’s often difficult to let young children down by denying them recognition for their hard work and dedication. Though the concept of participation awards is well-meaning, participation awards are impractical and rob children of a valuable life-lesson.

Experiencing defeat is a discouraging experience, but children are comforted by their friends and family, who reassure them that “you’ll get it next time!” These losses, though disappointing, are only temporary and serve as motivation. Without adversity, there is no goal to work towards and no reason to work harder. 

My middle school gave students Honor Roll certificates each marking period for achieving straight A’s. After my first marking period at the school, I had just missed the cut for Honor Roll, and although the experience was upsetting, it pushed me to work harder for the next marking period. Another student at my school went through a similar experience, but her mom made an Honor Roll certificate for her every marking period, regardless of her grades. Because of this, she slowly lost the motivation to do well in school because, in her eyes, she would be praised for her participation rather than her success.

Moreso, in the real world, there are no participation awards, and promising them to children gives them a false sense of security for adulthood. When someone applies for a job and is rejected, they don’t get praise for trying. They’re forced to persevere until they succeed. 

Participation awards diminish work ethic and motivation and shield children from the harsh reality of rejection. Everyone is bound to face some sort of loss at some point in life, and the promise of appraisal further robs them of the vital lesson of how to cope with, accept, and bounce back from such losses.