Bammy Award Posts Ignite Conversation

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By Mark Barnes


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.
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. 
Are teachers celebrities?
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!
There was a lot of conversation about this, including numerous lengthy responses from one of the Bammy awards organizers, including a rather verbose comment about something I wrote there. If this topic interests you, Ripp’s post is worth a look.
What do you think about Oscar-type awards for educators?

Mark Barnes is an education author and consultant and the publisher of Brilliant or Insane. Learn more about Mark on our Team page. Follow him on Twitter here.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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