Having a safe space and a nurturing environment is important, but classrooms are still filled with competition. Whether it is to present the best essay, the best group project, the finest athletic abilities, or the best grades. Competition exists in many aspects of school life, just like in, say, sports… Let’s discuss why it’s important.
When we are faced with no opponents but ourselves, only those individuals that have strong motivation to succeed do so. Others are often content with doing the bare minimum or not being the worst in their group. In an environment where excellence is not praised, there is no need to achieve it.
By competing with one another, the students often break their own perceived limits, whether it is because of their vanity or realization that they indeed can perform better. This provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to progress later in life.
Besides motivating the students, turning learning into a competition gives them something to focus on. This is especially beneficial to those that are having trouble concentrating on the lesson. Furthermore, many parts of the syllabus that the teachers are expected to transfer to their students often appear pointless and with no practical merit, especially if you look at them from the perspective of a troubled, unmotivated, and frustrated student.
Turn It Into a Game
It is a very good method of waking your classroom up. By turning the education into a game with winners and prizes, you break the monotony of everyday drudgery that classes can sometimes become. You will be more motivated to teach and they will be more eager to learn.
Parts of the System Demand It
Competing in the classroom is just one small part of the much larger system that rewards competing. Getting into colleges and universities of your choice largely depends on your achievements and extracurricular activities. The criteria are never fixed, so you have to be new and interesting and prove to the establishment that you are the best of the best in order to get in. It may sound cruel, and make no mistake, it is, but it is a part of the academic success that cannot be bought or achieved with mediocrity.
Competing in the classroom prepares you for competing in life. Anyone who has ever applied for a job only to be told they don’t fit or there was simply someone more qualified knows that competition with others is a natural part of adult life. Does that mean we need to be cruel while competing? Absolutely not. However, we must recognize that competition does exist and, as such, demands that we prepare ourselves for many challenges that we are yet to face.
Depending on your line of work and your career choices, you may come across individuals who will try to take you down in order to achieve success. Mind you, this does not happen in all aspects of adult life, nor does it exist in all businesses. Personally, I have always admired people who did not participate in the rat race. However, there is struggle out there and, even if you are not going to participate in it, you need to know what you can expect.