Engaging teachers in competitions

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Engaging Teachers in Competitions

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Katey Street, Senior Education Manager at Kimberlin Education


Competitions are a great way to engage schools with your brand and reward them with your products, they can also be a great way to demonstrate teachers and students engaging with your resources if they are linked. But do you ever find that your amazing prizes aren’t enticing as many teachers as you thought they might? Read on to find out how best to set up your school competition.


What do teachers want?
  • Free stuff. There’s no denying it, who doesn’t love presents?! Schools can apply for grants to buy resources and materials every year, so being sent a box of actual products or gifts can really make teachers smile. 
  • More time. Filling out a 2 page entry form for a competition is not fun, neither is having to write a 300 word response to show how much you want to win, especially if you still haven’t marked those books from 3 days ago or phoned that parent back yet…
  • To be valued! Lots of teacher competitions give the chance to win something for your students, which is lovely, but with teacher wellbeing at an all-time low, a prize that really demonstrates an understanding of teachers’ needs could go a long way. 
  • Consider a prize pack that is something for the school, class AND the teacher. That way everyone gets rewarded and this looks good for the teacher.


Some considerations: 
  • Luck of the draw – Competitions can be skills-based or chance-based. Chance-based competitions provide each entrant with an equal chance of winning and require competition permits to set up. They are usually easy to enter and generally attract more entrants. Skills-based competitions do not have an element of chance as winners are determined based on how they meet a number of criteria, according to a panel of judges. They do not need a licence but are more resource-heavy, i.e. more time and people required. 
  • Getting the kids involved. Competitions that involve the students are a great way to add context to learning and increase engagement and investment into individual entries. Successful initiatives that do this often link to special school events, i.e. Book Week, or calendar days as these are often talked about in the classroom with background learning likely taking place.


What does this mean for me?
  • Is your competition prize something that teachers really want? Perhaps market research with our Teacher Think Tank could provide some insight into what might work best. 
  • Assess the mechanics and logistics of your competition. How many barriers to entry are there and are these getting in the way of teachers entering? 
  • Getting the word out. Think about the best channels of communication to teachers and ensure your current methods are getting you the numbers that you want.
Next steps?
  1. Audit your existing prize offerings and review in line with the recommendations above
  2. Take steps to understand what teachers really want and reformat your competition mechanics
  3. Rethink your marketing plan to let teachers and schools know about your competition

Don’t have the time or expertise? Contact Kimberlin Education and let us help you ensure your competitions are relevant in all classrooms today and will be entered and enjoyed by teachers and students!

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