February 5, 2017

GOA Students Divided on Classroom Competition

Raphael Turitz-Sweifach ‘18

When people hear the word competition, they often associate it with sports or games. However, there is a strong competition found even within the topic of school.
The comparison of one student’s grades to another displays this competitiveness. If a student doesn’t do as well as their friends did on a test, they feel the need to do better on the next one. Although many may not see it as a positive idea, the competitiveness can lead to more success when someone feels the need to compete with their peers.
Competition can be a driving force, motivating students to do the best they can in order to match or surpass their fellow classmates.
“Competition between two students helps the other push themselves farther and do the best they can possibly do,” junior Ilana Feldman said. “As long as it doesn’t get out of hand, competition can encourage students to be the best they can be.”
Some people let stress and competitiveness take over their lives while others are able to improve their own abilities through heavy competition.
“ I truly think classroom competitiveness can be good,” junior Eran Shapiro said. “I know that if I was in a school that has less competition, I would be doing less work and would be completely unmotivated.”
Perhaps the overused term of “competitiveness” is best described as motivation.
Instead of taking on competition individually, it may be a better idea of one’s whole class to come together and motivate each other.
For instance, when a student wants to do better in a class, they can ask for help from friends.  They can form study groups with their fellow classmates in order to boost their individual skills. Students can take turns teaching their peers the material while reviewing it themselves, as well.
“I really enjoy studying with my peers,” junior Sarah Cehelyk said. “It helps to promote a healthy sense of competition that forces me to strive and do better.”
Competitiveness often leads to significant stress;however, if individuals view it as a more positive concept, it can truly help them in the future. Students, such as Shapiro, may try harder due to the competition, which can help them be more successful in the long run.
While some students see competition within the classroom as positive and others as negative, the majority is in agreement that a healthy amount of classroom competition leads to more success for all.

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