Teacher-nominated awards harm students

Academic awards are a sought-after praise that students may work hard to earn. Receiving an award, whether at a school, local, national, or international level is a great honor for any Berkeley High School student. However, in the case of awards where teachers must nominate students, it can be hard for them to decide who the right student is to win the award. Awards not only provide distinction, but in some cases, allow students to network, receive money, or explore other opportunities.  Making teachers choose a select number of students to be eligible to win encourages favoritism and is unfair. This is why BHS must not participate in having teacher-nominated students for awards.

When students feel as if the teacher is favoring one of their peers, it can create barriers in the relationship between them and the teacher. Having a good teacher-student relationship is extremely important because it has many benefits. 

A study done at the University of Siegen shows that if students and teachers don’t have a good relationship, the students are more likely to act out and be aggressive. This study also explains how a strong teacher-student relationship can benefit the teacher as well. It proved that this relationship can positively affect teacher job satisfaction and boost teachers’ self-confidence.

The same study also includes a portion on how a good student-teacher relationship aids student engagement. The University of Siegen proved this by providing some teachers and students with support to improve their relationships. This study showed that as their relationship improved the students’ engagement and comprehension of the material also increased. 

Another negative outcome of teacher-nominated awards is the possibility of resentment from other students. Jealousy can be a hard thing to deal with and some students may not know how to cope with not achieving something their peers did. Students may become envious of the favored students and that student can become the target of hateful behavior. There is no need to push students apart when it is most important to bring them together. In addition, these feelings can worsen students’ mental health. If a student believes that they are not academically achieving it can increase students’ stress levels and anxiety. Students’ mental health is a massive issue and affects students because it’s harder to succeed academically when mental health is low. 

Some people may think that having teachers nominate students for awards is the only correct way to give out these honors, but this isn’t true. Although teachers know their students well and can assess whether a student would be eligible for an award, this policy causes more destruction than it helps. Making teachers choose which kids are eligible for coveted awards promotes favoritism and envy. These days it’s especially important to preserve students’ mental health and pitting them against their classmates is not a way to succeed at this. Teachers spend a lot of time with their students, so having a good teacher-student relationship is very important to a student’s success and happiness. It’s time for teacher-nominated awards to be ended, as they have caused too many problems for too long.