Winner or loser?


Is winning everything? Does winning mean success?

I have been forced to think about this today, after my groups’ defeat at the Student Seminar Presentations. I had the unenviable task of breaking the bad news to them today. Obviously they were filled with disappointment and slight annoyance.

“At least their teacher supported them,” one boy blurted. “What do you mean?” I said. “NOTHING.” At the end of the meeting, this group came up to me to unveil the following shocking relevations:

1. One of the winning group’s project had been done entirely by the teachers.

2. The project was previously used to enter into a major competition. They came up tops.

3. One of the students from this winning group told my students he hardly ever contributed yet he still gets to go to Hong Kong for the trip and his group even got into the SS finals.

No wonder my kids are upset. No wonder my kids thought I didn’t “help” them. But at the end of the day I told them, if they were happy just reading off something I had prepared for them, or if they felt more satisfaction producing something of their own.

There are many reasons why our groups were not selected. Of course, if I cared about winning, I would have thrown out all their ideas and did the projects all on my own. But this is a student initiative, and I think some teachers have missed the point.

I feel sorry for teachers who do all the work for the students so they can come out tops in competitions. They think they have done the school proud by clinching titles, but who are we kidding?

I think my kids were not in the right frame of mind for me to tell them this. But when I get the chance, I think I need to let them know that, though we have lost, we have at least remained true to ourselves and upheld our integrity in the competition.

This is truly one important life lesson we learnt through this experience.

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