The Role of Competition in The Classroom

There are several people who have strong feelings about whether or not you should promote competition in the classroom.

Many say competition is healthy.  That it promotes kids to try and be better and therefore it betters themselves.  Competition is a fact of life and kids need to get used to that.

People who know me would likely be surprised to hear me say that I definitely encourage competition….but not in the way you might think.  Competition is healthy if the person you are competing against is yourself.

When I’m writing it gives me a great big thrill to see that I’ve just published by 42nd blog entry!  And so I bump my goal to 50.  When I’m curling (a sport, for those of you who don’t know….) I love making a shot that I never used to be any good at but one that I’ve practiced several times since.  When I’m writing, I love that my writing gets more detailed and descriptive.  And I love finishing a book at 50,351 words when my goal was 50,000.

Should you compete?  Yes.  But only against yourself.  Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.  Look after yourself and you’ll be just fine.

Somewhere out there is a line on a t-shirt that says….”He who dies with the most toys….still dies.”  A bit morbid, but completely true.

At the end of the day, the only person you are responsible for answering to is yourself.  When you look yourself in the mirror you’ll know if you did your best or not.  And you’ll reap the rewards or suffer the consequences as they may be.


About Cherra-Lynne Olthof

I've been a middle school teacher for my entire career (which began in 2001). Like my students, I too am a life long learner. My goals include helping my students to achieve their goals, support them in their learning, and to encourage them to think "beyond the grade".
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