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Despite what you’ve heard, not every kid gets a trophy. But why not?
The end of the school year is awards season, when students of all ages are herded into auditoriums and cafeterias and cafetoriums to sit and listen to adults read off the accomplishments of a select few classmates. Sometimes the crowd is instructed to hold their applause until all the recipients have received their award, and if they forget, they are told, sternly, not to clap yet. By the end, every hand in the room hurts, and the kids who get their awards last get hardly any applause. The winners take beaming pictures with their certificates.
I recently attended one such elementary school award ceremony. The children, who are students of mine, cheered for each other. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and afterwards, kids were leaping out of their seats to give speeches to the crowd about the year’s end. Fifth graders expressed appreciation for their teachers; a first grader told a joke. A kindergartner (who had won several awards) took the microphone, turned to his classmates, and shyly announced: “If you didn’t get an award… don’t cry.”
I’m with him. I worry about the kids who don’t win. Because — and I can report this first-hand — not everyone gets a trophy. If there’s one thing that young people are told when there are trophies to be had, it’s that not everybody should get one. Millennials have been told it’s the thing that ruined our generation, and the ones after us, and the ones today. Adults have very strong feelings about kids’ feelings about trophies.
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when you try to click an image on tumblr to see a bigger version but you get redirected to someones blog
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