“School is about the grades.” This is what most of the people think when it’s comes to school. Parents expect their children to bring the best grades home and to be the top student at school. If the children accomplish it, they feel proud, if not they feel shameful. Teachers prefer students who have good score to the one who don’t. Therefore children are convinced that they can only accomplish their goals if their grades are good. However, is it true?
I used to think the same. My parents always asked me where I stood in the school ranking. Fortunately Hungary doesn’t have that system, so I didn’t care. But I knew I had to have good grades, so I worked hard to achieve that level. Therefore I always had that expectation from myself. In the end when I realized I couldn’t study for the exams I cheated. Because I needed a good score. Instead of spending time learning everything by heart, I cheated to avoid feeling shameful. Only the grades were important.
When I realized I can easily get a good grades, no matter if it was by cheating or really understood the lesson, I thought I was smart. Not until I started wondering what I can use this knowledge for. Or when I talked to people and we had situation where material knowledge was needed I didn’t know anything about it. For example, I was good at maths, but not in mental arithmetic. When I helped my family’s business as a shop assistant, it took me a long time to count how much I had to give back to customers but using calculator seemed lame to me.
Grades don’t define our destiny
That was the time I realized grades are nothing. Yes, we need it to get evaluation and to continue our studies, to apply for university. We need to work hard to get good grades, but it doesn’t mean we should depend our life on it. I still remember there was 1,5 years at university when I didn’t have time to study besides going to school and working. In the end I cheated in all of my exams to get a good score and scholarship. I got it. But then when I graduated I realized I didn’t know anything. My language skill didn’t improve, I didn’t know how to use the knowledge I gained during my studies even though they were practical. Therefore grades only show how hardworking or tricky you are, not how clever you are.
When we are out in the world, at job interviews they are not going to ask what our grades were, but they want to know what we are capable of. Last time I was at my high school class reunion. Talking with my former classmates they all concluded that school is one thing, but what the employers are interested in is our working experience. Therefore scores are nothing in term of finding a job.
One of my classmates used to be one of the worst students in the class, since his grades were low. But after 5 years he already established his own company. Once again it all proved that grades are nothing. They are only important until a certain of time, but not for lifetime. Our life is not depended on the grades we gained during our school years.
It is useless to stress ourselves and the children to get good grades at school. Teachers shouldn’t discriminate good and bad grades children. Parents shouldn’t punish their children for getting a bad grades either. Because grades don’t define a person’s intelligent nor knowledge. If you want your children to have a good grades help them to understand the school lessons and how to use them in the real life. When they see the sense of studying all those complex material, they will automatically perform better at exams.
The real pride that a teacher and parent can have is when the children they raise become confident, know what they want, achieve their goals, become successful and happy. Grades are not lifetime, but education is. Focus on real knowledge!