“Word of the Week” Contest Takes Too Much Time to Enter, Students Say

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Logan Winser, Reporter

At Arrowhead High School, there is a weekly competition called “Word of the Week.” Multiple teachers promote this competition.  Although, according to students, this competition is not popular among students and faculty.

The Word of the Week is a competition run by staff member and English teacher Terri Carnell. The Word of the Week is posted on the AHS website, along with a link containing the word, the definition, the part of speech, synonyms, antonyms, the word used in a sentence, and a picture to represent the word.

Students may enter their name into a drawing in both libraries if they hear a teacher use the word or if they find the word in their readings, a movie, a song, or other source.  This information must be recorded on a red slip found in the libraries.

According to students, this competition isn’t popular. The students say they lack motivation to enter, even though there are prizes. The students are reluctant to answer because the form is tedious and takes time and effort to complete.

Junior Ali Ruckstadter says she  entered the competition.

“I entered only one time back in freshman year,” says Ruckstadter “and I actually won! When I placed mine in, I could see that I was one of maybe two or three people who entered.”

But the main reason, students say, they fail to enter the word of the week competition is because of the announcement.

The only time the word of the week is announced is in the announcements at the first bell at 7:15am at south campus, and 7:25am at north campus. During this time, students are talking in the hallways or in the lunchroom. They go into crowded hallways trying to get to their first period classes. In the noisy hallways, students do not even hear the announcements. The only place the announcements are actually heard is in the classroom, but students say they don’t listen as they are either talking to classmates or rushing to complete homework that was due.

The only other way students hear the word of the week is if a teacher talks about it, which students say is very rare.

In a survey done on April 21st, only two students out of 35 knew what the word of the week was.

Another reason for the failure of this competition could be simply the words chosen. The words chosen for each week are very hard to remember because students have never heard of the word before. Even though this may be one of the main reasons for the competition, junior Dowan Dougherty says he thinks that they should pick easier to remember words or words relating to something happening that week.

“The words are hard to remember each week and aren’t very catchy,” says Dougherty, “I think they should so words reacting to something that is going on that week. Like for prom week have something relating to dancing or even prom.”

If Arrowhead wants the word of the week competition to succeed, they need to promote it. The announcements should be after the second bell so all students can hear. English teachers should take a minute or two on every Monday to show students the word or the week. They should also change their words to be more memorable and catchy.

The word of the week could easily be a success if faculty but in the effort to make it something memorable at Arrowhead.