“You can get all As and still flunk at life.”
From Walker Percy’s Second Coming
I heard it yet again, another mom who is frustrated because her hardworking teen is struggling in a class.
“I’m tired of my kid coming home and telling me she’s stupid,” she says. “She makes great grades, but she’s failing science because it’s really hard for her.”
As moms, we see unvarnished truths. We watch a child’s confidence plummet as they face a major challenge that isn’t in their natural skill set. We know our child’s strengths and weaknesses, and we witness their hard work. While hard work often pays off, there are also times when even the best effort leaves a child hoping to pull off a C.
I believe in education and challenging students. I was once a classroom nerd who got excited about certain courses. Although I had to work hard, my efforts were reflected in my grades. This led me to believe that discipline + effort = desired results.
What I know now, being older and wiser, is that:
- Some personalities are better suited for a classroom than others.
- Some talents can’t be measured or seen in a classroom.
- You can’t predict a student’s potential based on current performance.
- The world is full of successful adults who struggled in some realm of school.
In the real world, people specialize. In any job or career, you don’t have to excel at 8 different subjects because you discover what you’re good at – finance, people, sales, design, food, organization, sports, etc. – and concentrate your efforts there. While students who thrive in a classroom are typically good at staying on a track, entrepreneurs get off traditional tracks. They think outside the box and create new tracks of their own.