September 24, 2013

Bammy Awards raise serious issues

Have you heard of the Bammy Awards? Don't feel out of the loop if you haven't. The Bammys, produced by Bam Radio, are an Oscars-type award ceremony honoring educators. Bam, which touts itself as "The voice of the Education Community," is an excellent online radio network that produces high quality education programming.

In 2012, the network created its own version of the kind of popular award shows that honor TV and movie actors, right down to the red carpet. Unlike the Golden Globes or Oscars, though, the Bammys honor educators.

The Bammy Awards
It's about time hardworking teachers get some positive pub, you may be thinking. At first, I felt the same. After further consideration, though, I quickly realized that I am not a fan of the Bammys. And I'm not the only one. Check out the amazing response to Pernille Ripp's Bammy post here.

Ripp is not so much anti-Bammy, as she is opposed to how the ceremony was produced. She specifically takes aim at jokes that were told, which may or may not have been in poor taste, and the lack of actual teacher awards presented live.

My issue is different, as I'm against the whole idea of the Bammys, in their current form. Why do teachers need red-carpet treatment? Why should there be a "Best" librarian or principal? Don't we teach kids that they should love learning for the sake of learning?

I believe the creators of the Bammys are well-intentioned. Where they missed the point is with whom they honor. Being a teacher isn't about receiving awards. It's about kids.

So if Bam Radio wants to produce a big event, even including a red carpet, I say make it 100 percent about students. Put the teachers where they belong -- in the audience!

cross posted at ASCDEdge

Don't miss ROLE Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, now available in the ASCD store, Barnes & Noble and at and Mark's new book, The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom