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Your son is one smart kid. Can't fool him! This self-esteem nonsense has gone too far. What's next - an award for just breathing? As for that "middle bit" in writing, sure we'd all like to be superstars, but in the meantime most writers would agree that the work itself is pretty darn pleasant and engrossing.

My kids go to a school that do the exact same thing - last friday of the month certificates are given out in what seems to be a random fashion.

And I don't think it could successfully build self-esteem, when the children can see that even the ones who don't work hard and are disruptive in class, still manage to get rewarded. Basically it decreases the value of all the awards.

The other thing that riles me about primary schools here in NZ, is that they don't keep score when playing sports. This way there are no winners and losers. But the kids all keep score, they know if they have won or not. It's ridiculous.

The grade school that I teach at does a very similar things for students in grades 1st-5th. At our end of the year awards ceremony, each teacher goes up and gives a bunch of awards. Basically each student gets an award (it's pretty much an unwritten rule). For example in my class (and a few of the other grades as well) I give 2 awards in each subject, one for most outstanding, one for most improved. When I'm trying to come up with the recipients, I first think of which of my students deserve an outstanding award and then I try to fit them in the best place. The remaining students I give a most improved award that hopefully fits with their abilities. I don't particularlly like it because there are some students who might deserve more than one award, but I cannot give it to them, because it might not be "fair". Instead I have to give an award to a student that doesn't really deserve it.

By the way, I have a small class, with less than 15 students.

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