My daughter recently commented that one of her classmates received a D on an open book, open note quiz. When she asked her classmate why, the girl replied she just isn’t very smart.
What Are We Expecting From Our Children?
While it astounded my daughter, who couldn’t comprehend how someone could receive such a low grade when in my daughter’s mind, the student had every possible opportunity available to her, it created an opportunity for a conversation for me with my daughter about expectations.
I talked to her about the philosophy of yesteryear where girls were not expected to succeed or be as smart as boys. The days when it was reported that girls reached a certain grade level where they actually “dumbed” themselves down and started to be less likely to raise their hand or excel in certain subjects such as math or science.
I was a bit taken back when my daughter replied that she had been told there was a time when wives were expected to be less smart than their husbands. A societal norm, hopefully of yesteryear.
While the conversation was a teaching moment for my family, it is also a teaching moment I hope for our community. A reminder that we must work to build up both our boys and girls. That our expectation for classroom success must constantly be discussed. And not only the successes, but also the failures. We must help our youth learn from their mistakes and failures. If a student receives a D on a quiz, how can we as adults assist that student in achieving a better grade next time? And more importantly, how can we empower that child to want to receive a better grade because they believe and know they can.
Another example that has stuck in my mind for some time was a comment someone made to me about a little boy in her lunch line at school. She dropped her ink pen and this boy, without being asked, picked it up and handed it to her. Now this little boy was known for his misbehavior and not being the best student, so when the lunch lady handed him a “Caught Doing Good” card, he replied with a puzzled look. The woman went on to say that the little boy asked her if she had made a mistake by giving him the card. When she assured him that she intentionally awarded him with the good deed card, he beamed and took it to the school office to receive his due prize.
A simple gesture that for that moment, empowered a child who on most days saw himself as a trouble maker.
My point, as we all know and have been told, is it is human nature to live up to the expectation set before us – if we expect mediocre behavior that is what we will get. But if we expect and assist someone in achieving their best, that in turn is what we will get.
So, as you read this post, think about who in your life, you can assist in reaching their full potential. And remember, it is not always measured in success, but also in failure, because it is many times through those failures that we learn how better to succeed the next time.
LEAD WITH RESPECT. STAND WITH RESPECT. LIVE WITH RESPECT