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ashworth
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 677
Location: UK
Styles: Shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido, Kobudo

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:48 am    Post subject: Student of the Month... Reply with quote

As an instructor I have never bothered with student of the month rewards. For a couple of different reasons:

At the moment I am actually only running adult classes and I don't think anything like that is really needed for adult classes...

But when I was running children's classes as well, my classes have always been quite small and I would find it difficult to justify why one student would get the award over another, especially as I am quite big on not comparing students to each other and always tell them to never compare their karate to someone else's in class, only person you should compare to is your yesterday's self.

So to my questions... if you do these type of awards:

how do you decide who is your student of the month, if no one really stands out in your mind do you just pick one at random? Do you even award it based on what they have done that month or do you just alternate it between all the students?

Also, do you feel that this type of thing has led them to compare themselves to others in the class?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15853
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a double-edged sword, for sure. If the CI isn't too keen with Student-of-the-Month, then I believe that the CI should just shelf the idea. Otherwise, the transparency of the whole idea will become quite so obvious and lose its credibility fast.

I agree, that a Student-of-the-Month is more geared towards the kids than the adults. Having said that, let me address your questions one at a time...

Quote:
how do you decide who is your student of the month?


*Effort
*Good attendance or improvement in attendance
*Character through compassion, honesty, trustworthiness, optimism, and responsibility
*Behavior and self-control
*Attitude toward others/learning
*Good citizenship
*Leadership and integrity
*Demonstrates responsibility

Quote:
if no one really stands out in your mind do you just pick one at random?

No. Never. There has to be a clear choice. If not, and one's chosen randomly, that too aides to the program being transparent. Moreover, the rules and requirements must be understood by all, and not just the students. Like the Kun, I'd hand up anything of importance, and so that it would serve as a consistent reminder. Like a sign in a business that's hung up for all to see, like, No Checks, is both a reminder and a type of authority.

If there's no clear-cut choice for Student-of the Month, then for that month, so be it. There's always next month but announce your decision and gently remind them how that decision is made...that too is important.

Quote:
Do you even award it based on what they have done that month or do you just alternate it between all the students?

Nope. What's listed above, also covers both on and off the floor. Get the parents involved by speaking to them during the decision-making phase, yet do it covertly because once parents get wind of what is actually being asked of and what for, the transparency begins, and the program losses its credibility. Don't ever award just to award because that too starts to seep into other decision-making choices, like Testing Cycles and the like.

Quote:
Also, do you feel that this type of thing has led them to compare themselves to others in the class?

I'd say that this just might. However, I'd be willing to say that this already permeates in the dojo already. Why? It's a human frailty. Does a program like Student-of-the-Month highlight the students to compare one another? Maybe. Perhaps. I believe that really depends on the maturity of the CI, and how the CI sets the overall tone in the dojo.

Imho!!

I've used that program with great success in my own dojo. Done incorrectly, that ship will sink along with the dojo faster than one will ever realize. No program is more important than the Student Body.




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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29453
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2022 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good advice from Bob here. I've never been a part of a school that has done an award like this, nor do I think I'd ever consider doing it. I do see how an award such as this, especially if it is done the right way, could be a great motivator to other students in the school.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2308
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2022 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me if you were to do a Student of the Month, you have to be clear on how base your choices and what criteria. In which Sensei8 phrased it perfectly.

If it were my dojo, and there were 2 students that exemplified what I was looking for. Id give to both as it shows that more than 1 person is worthy of getting it each month
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