Head Teacher’s Blog

3rd June ’13
A thought this week about competition. This comes from having had to judge the fancy dress competition at the excellent Saltoun Fair. Now that truly is the poisoned chalice of all jobs! How do you look at all those earnest faces- even amongst the adults- and say you get a prize and you don’t. I did wonder if we should just give everyone a prize for taking part. But does that reflect real life and teach valuable life skills? For much of life is competitive. One person gets the job and all the others don’t; the highest bidder gets the house and all the others don’t; the winning team gets the cup; the bird that sings the loudest/sweetest or displays the best gets the choice of mate.
When I decided that I should get back into full-time teaching and go for a Principal Teacher post, I had to survive many interviews and rejections (including those from both Humbie and Saltoun!) before winning a post. So life is competitive; you have to give of your best and be measured alongside other people for a variety of purposes or roles. You also have to be able to handle the knock-backs.
But does that all equate to the disappointment on little faces when their fancy dress doesn’t quite make the grade? I would be interested in your ideas and opinions. When is the best time to introduce competition to children and when can they best handle not winning or being the best?
Humans are, in general, competitive to some degree or other. With a group of friends we pick a theme for each month of the year, take pictures and put our best ones on a web-site. It is not a competition- but…. one friend who doesn’t take photographs but frequently looks at the site refutes vehemently the idea that it is not a competition and there is a lot of banter about whose pictures are the best and who has the best opportunities for capturing photographs on a particular month. I like to think that I am not particularly competitive, but I confess that I enjoy sneaking in a picture I think the others won’t be able to better! The theme for June is J- how about some snappy ideas so that I can get ahead?

Have a great week,
Lindy Lynn