Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Why do grades matter so much?

As a teacher, it was one of my duties to give grades every nine weeks. No big deal. I was a fair teacher and gave grades that the students deserved. Occasionally, I would have an upset mom call or email me and let me know that her perfect child has scored less than perfect on the all important report card. She wanted to make me aware that I had made a mistake and needed to correct it right away. Ummm, no, I'm not going to make any corrections! I have the final say because I am the queen of the classroom.

While I was in school (K-12), I did fairly well. I wasn't the valedictorian or anything, but I did manage to get in the top 10%. (By the way, I was friends with the valedictorian AND the salutatorian...does that give me smart points just for knowing them?) Honestly, I never really gave grades or studying that much thought while in junior high or high school.

Then, I got to college. Boy did I have fun my freshman year! So much fun, in fact, that I received a phone call from my mom right after midterm grades had been mailed out to remind me that I needed to get in a little bit of study time if I wanted to continue my higher education. So, I buckled down (actually, not after the phone call, but sometime before my freshman year was over) and studied (some) and even made the Dean's list a semester or two. I did not get to wear any of the "special" cords at graduation, but let's not be picky...I really increased my GPA from my first semester of college and graduated right in the middle! (Those people who were below me must have had a lot of fun all four years! Oh to be them!)

When I went to apply for my first job, guess what they didn't do? They did not ask to see my college report card (aka transcript)! Shocking, I know. I wasn't trying to get into any graduate school or even apply for NASA, I was merely trying to be an elementary teacher. And I got the job. Miracle! I bet even those over-achievers who graduated from college with a 4.0 (in the education department) didn't have to show their spectacular grades either. They should have had a little more fun.

Now, when I went to graduate school, I was a little more serious and cared a little bit more. I actually did graduate with a 4.0, but 2 months later, had a baby, and she doesn't care at all. Actually, the only person who does care is: my mom (she is breathing a huge sigh of relief because I stepped it up since my undergraduate days). I am very happy to make her proud, but no one, again, is ever going to look and see my GPA...they are only going to look and see that I have a Master's degree-that is all they (and by they, I mean future employers) care about!

Have you ever been around those adults that like to compare ACT and SAT scores? They drive me insane! Newsflash-we are ADULTS!!!!! Our ACT and SAT days are long gone. Those scores do not matter anymore. If you want to compare things-don't start with standardized test scores!

I write all of this to make myself feel better today. For those of you that keep up with my blog (all 6 of you), you know that I have a job facilitating for PBS professional development classes. For the past 3 weeks I have been "training". Well, yesterday we got our first grades for our training. I was VERY disappointed in my grades! Now don' t think the worst of me yet, I have a solid "B" right now. But, I assumed I would be receiving a 100...sigh! I have not emailed my teacher yet to let her know of her mistake-that I received a less than perfect grade. If she is anything like me though, she is queen of her classroom and I had better just get over it.


Heather said...

Very funny!
I totally agree with you about the grades thing. My parents were on me like white on rice when I was in school to make good grades and I did for the most part. Does anyone care now? No. Should anyone care now? No.
I, too, wish people would stop trying to compete with other people's lives at all, much less high school years. If you have nothing better to do than to search for some way to "one up" someone else, I really don't think you have much of a life at all.

Dallas said...

Of course, when Nora is old enough to start "making grades", we will be adament about her doing her best...I will have to erase all evidence of this post :).

Supabloggasuprememama said...

youre right. why do they matter so much? my freshman year-sophomore, i had alot going on socially and wasnt too into my grades. then I started my masters and was determined to keep a 4.0 just to show myself i could do it. it becomes about the numbers and not about what we learn. (I feel like the song pressure should be playing right now in the background)

Tesney said...

I had a 4.0 until my sophomore year when I had lots of stuff going on and grades fell by the wayside...I was so hard on myself for making below an A in my classes! I'm like Supa...I saw grad school as another opportunity to try to make perfect grades. Now I wish I would've just chilled out a little. I think I actually would have learned more and enjoyed life! I mean, NOBODY has asked for my GPA since I graduated. How do you instill good study skills in kids without making them perfectionists? I don't want Clayton to think he has to make a 4.0 but I do want him to do his best.

Brad, Amy & Sadie said...

You've got a great looking baby girl. It was good to see you guys last Sunday. We just wished you were here for a little longer to visit.

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