Since the late 1980s, academic competitions have been an integral part of our programming at Birchwood School. They are an important support to our academic and character development programs. But given the negative connotations of competition in elementary and middle school we found it necessary to explain how academic competitions might become a valuable component of a Birchwood education. We identified three components.
As I explained last month, the first aim of the success cycle is to help children create a history of achievement and progress. This history leads to self-confidence and self-worth – cornerstones for growth. Its second aim is to help children create the habits and ethics for personal productivity and achievement. These are the backbone of lifelong growth and success: hard work, self-discipline, determination, self-reliance, resilience, time management, and organization. Find a successful person and you will find these attributes.
The success cycle is a core instructional practice at Birchwood. It introduces children to patterns of behavior which lead to success and growth. It is practiced in every classroom across the grade levels so it has the potential to create habits and attitudes which play an important role in academic growth and character development.