Classroom competition can be an excellent motivator for students. But, it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. There is healthy competition, and a degree of competition becomes harmful to students. It is all about balance. So, how do you find that balance when it comes to competition in school?
Why is Competition Essential for Student Improvement?
First, here are four reasons why competition is essential for student improvement and development:
#1: It Provides a Sense of Purpose
When students strive to achieve a common goal, they develop a sense of purpose. This is especially true in competitive environments. Students feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves, and they are working together to improve. This can be highly motivating for students.
#2: Healthy Competition Encourages Hard Work
To be successful, students must be willing to put in the hard work. This is a valuable lesson for students. It teaches them that success does not come easy and that they must work hard if they want to achieve their goals.
#3: It Teaches Coping Skills
Competition can be stressful. When students are placed in a competitive environment, they learn to cope with stress. This is an essential skill for students to learn because it will help them throughout their lives.
#4: Helps to Teach Students How to Win and Lose Gracefully
There are always winners and losers. Students need to learn how to lose gracefully. When they do, they are more likely to succeed in life. This is because they will not be afraid to try new things, and they will not be discouraged by setbacks.
These are just a few reasons why competition is essential to student improvement and development. Keep them in mind if you are debating adding more competition into your curriculum.
Activities That Encourage Healthy Competition
Next, here are five activities that can help to encourage healthy competition amongst your students:
#1: Quiz Bowls
Quiz bowls are a great way to stimulate students’ brains in the classroom. They are also a lot of fun! Quiz bowls usually involve teams of students competing against each other to answer questions from various subject areas. This activity can help students review material.
#2: Spelling Bees
Spelling bees are another great way to encourage competition in the classroom. They are fun and help with spelling and studying. Spelling bees typically involve students competing against each other to spell words correctly. Spelling bees are a calm and straightforward way to use healthy competition to help students improve.
#3: Math Competitions
Math competitions also help encourage healthy competition. Math competitions have students competing against each other to solve math problems. This can help students who struggle with math learn and compete with their fellow classmates in a fun and engaging way.
#4: Science Fairs
Science fairs are a classic way to introduce competition to students of any age. Students who enjoy science and experiments are sure to find this activity fun. Science fairs have students competing against each other to create the best science project. This is always a good way to have your students compete, and it is fun for teachers and staff to judge.
#5: Field Day
Field day is another classic way to make students compete at your school. Field day usually involves a variety of activities, including races, obstacle courses, and more. This is a great way to get students up and moving while also competing against their classmates in a healthy and physical way!
Use these activities if your school wants to have more student competition.
When Competition Becomes Harmful for Students
Competition can become harmful for students when it is taken too far. Here are three ways that it can become harmful:
#1: Students Can Become Too Focused on Winning
When competition becomes the main focus, students can become too focused on winning. This can lead to students cheating or doing whatever it takes to win. This is not healthy for students and can ruin relationships. Competition’s effect on learning can become harmful if this happens.
#2: Students Become Discouraged by Losing
When students lose, they can become discouraged. This can lead to them giving up on things they used to enjoy or becoming sad and depressed. Losing is a part of a competing, but it should not have a negative impact on students’ lives.
#3: When Students Become Physically and Emotionally Unhealthy
Competition can also lead to students becoming physically and emotionally unhealthy. This is because students can become so focused on winning that they will do anything to make sure they come out on top. This can lead to them becoming stressed and anxious. It can also lead to them becoming sick and injured.
When competition becomes harmful for students, it is important to step in and help them. Talk to them about how they are feeling and help them to find other ways to compete that are healthy and positive.
Competition can be a healthy and positive thing for students when it is used in the right way. However, it can also become harmful for students when taken too far. Teachers and administrators need to be aware of these dangers and help students when this practice becomes harmful. Use the five activities mentioned in this article to encourage healthy competition in your classroom!
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