Different worlds

It’s difficult for most high school students to envision a world where grades and test scores aren’t the markers of their achievement–where executing their way to prescribed right answers and completed assignments isn’t the path forward to success. That’s why so many good students struggle when there’s no longer a graded curve they can study their way to besting.

Seth Godin puts this well on his blog this week:

“Real life is not organized around an 800 on the SATs, or a FGA average that’s the highest in the league. Instead, real life has changing rules, hidden rules, rules that aren’t fair. Real life often doesn’t reveal itself to us all at once, the way the rules of baseball are clearly written down.”

And so, the first challenge of real life is: find some goals. And the second: figure out some boundaries.

It’s possible to play the game in the high school world of today while simultaneously preparing for the real life world of tomorrow. But students and their parents would be well served to treat those two different worlds as exactly that. Here are a few past posts of mine that might help.

Help kids develop long-term traits
No right answer = more learning
You can’t earn straight A’s in life