When I was in the first grade, my class teacher used to stick red stars on books of pupils who had performed well. To us 6-year-olds the red star was the hallmark of achievement and recognition.
In my third term, after months and months of the red star eluding me, I was finally due to be recognized. The moment for me to shine had arrived, unfortunately my teacher committed the cardinal sin of forgetting to stick my little red star. When I got home and opened my book to find no red star, I was disappointed and I cried like the baby I was.
22 years after my no red star incident, I have learnt that recognition is a universal principle, whether to a 6-year-old or to a Toastmaster working on their communication and leadership tracks. At the heart of Toastmasters is the Education program, and one of the important standards of measuring success and recognition are the educational awards that members receive for their efforts and hard work. Like my teacher, the Vice President Education plays an important role in recognizing the achievements of the members of their Club.
When thinking about how to recognize members, there are 2 basic strategies that as VPE you can adopt:
1. Uploading educational awards as soon as a member completes their projects. When you feel like putting this off- imagine paying for your Satellite subscription and not being connected, not to mention missing your favourite programs.
2. Acknowledge publicly a member’s achievement when they still have the sweat on their brow. This has 2 effects- firstly by publicly recognizing a member through platforms such as the meeting and other electronic/ social mediums you reinforce their drive to continue growing, in other words you give them a reputation to uphold.
Secondly, public recognition is contagious. I am sure we all have at one time attended a Hall of Fame or Awards ceremony, and have seen others being recognized- naturally there is always something inside the human nature that desires to share in others’ success. In other words, when we recognize achievement in others it has a domino effect on the rest of the membership.
All the best as you upload those little red stars.
Tendai David Muranganwa, ACS, ALB
District 74 Educational Coordinator 2018- 19.