“You have some free time, right? Participate!” Why teachers need competitions

Teachers do not have enough free time - teachers themselves often talk and write about it. Paperwork, parent meetings, chats, pedagogical councils - you want to take a break from it all. But some teachers find strength and time to participate in competitions. How they do it, and most importantly, why - shares "Mel".

There is a lot of negativity around pedagogical competitions. They say that it is impossible to win, it takes hours to prepare, and participation is not worth the effort. We decided to talk to two winners of the competition “Teaching as a Calling” – regional competition for teachers of the Empathy Foundation Mikhail Shelkov and the Tula Ministry of Education to find out where to find motivation for such a professional feat and whether things are really as bad as they say.

Olga Medvedeva is the winner in the nomination “Mentor Teacher”, teacher of Russian language and literature at Education Center No. 26.

Of course, it is difficult to participate in pedagogical competitions. But, as it seems to me, it is necessary. Everything depends on the goals the teacher sets for himself, his character, his ability to really assess his capabilities, to meet not only the spirit of the time, but also to understand what you can interest the pedagogical community.

I am a mentor teacher for young teachers in several schools. We analyze everything: what a specialist learns, what he tries his hand at, how he participates in the organization of the educational process. Among my “students” there are successful beginning social pedagogues, authors of scientific works, and participants of major conferences. Yes, not all of them will participate in professional competitions, but I am sure that they will definitely stay in pedagogy, improving in their field.

I know many wonderful teachers who have never participated in competitions because of modesty. But, to be honest, they have other reasons for this. For many of my colleagues, the most interesting things are outside of work. But when work is your favorite, you don’t spare any free time for it! It seems to me that if analyzing a methodology or creating a digital product is not only a duty but also a hobby, you should boldly go and participate.

I don’t see contests as a competition for winning places. Of course, everyone wants to win. But the contest itself is not only an exam, it is a celebration of your professional skills. It is a generalization and broadcasting of experience, pedagogical findings and methodological developments, recognition of your activity and a reason for correction.


Alexander Sysoev – the winner in the nomination “Young Manager”, chemistry teacher and deputy director for educational work of Education Center № 20 in Tula. Tula

For me personally, contests are like competitions for an athlete. It is a drive, an opportunity to prove to yourself once again that you can win.

When you are in “contest mode”, first of all you need to clearly understand what you are doing. How you will build your contest materials correctly, what you can show, where you need to, so to speak, “work harder”. Then comes the euphoria and excitement: “Did I win? Maybe I should have added something? And this should have been deleted.” It’s hard to let go and just wait for the result when you’ve invested so much effort. The main thing in competitions is not to be afraid, to believe in victory and to show not just the material, but yourself in this material.

Participation in pedagogical competitions is self-development, search for new acquaintances, exchange of experience, emotions that accompany throughout the competition, points at certification. It is an internal motivation for yourself. Plus now many contests are well financed, these cash prizes are a nice bonus to the salary.

For the first time the regional contest “Teaching as a Calling” of pedagogical skills was held last year. This year there are 15 nominations and 51 winners. Depending on the nomination, teachers receive 100 thousand rubles lump sum or 20 thousand rubles monthly for a year. The total prize fund from “Empathy” for two years amounted to 19 million rubles.

Mikhail Shelkov, the founder of the Empathy Charitable Foundation, is sure that if every teacher compares himself before and after the contest, he will definitely see the difference. For the co-organizers it is already obvious: such a good dynamics leaves no doubt that next year the competition should be continued.

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