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Number Two: Re-evaluate Value – The 30 Goals Challenge

Learning is...excellent! (Image taken from stmcs.org)

This goal could not come at a better moment.

I will start like this: when I left Greece to come to Switzerland, I kept contact with a great number of my students, as we had become very attached and it is always great to hear their news and how they are doing and growing, as people and personalities.

The other day I was talking to one of them. He is 16 years old and a wonderful person in all respects: kind, considerate and a great student. By great student I mean (and I have admired him for this ever since I first met him, when he was eight!) that he tries very hard in everything that he does and tries to apply the things he learns in his life. He loves learning.

As I was saying, I was chatting with him on Skype and it was great to read all his news. At some point he expressed his disappointment, as that day he had written a test in Physics and, even though he had studied and tried really hard (as can happen to anyone), he did not perform as well as he had expected. Anyone would feel disappointed, as the only thing one can think at that moment is I put in so much effort in it. It is not like that though. (And fortunately he is a person who will keep on doing his best – he is very motivated by learning.)

Does it matter that he did not perform well? No.

Is his life or future going to be defined by that grade? No.

Is he still learning and progressing in his learning? Yes!

That is what sometimes we educators do not point out to our kids. We are responsible to a great extent for this. That learning is for them, it is something great and that no matter how old they get, they will keep on learning something, be it at school, college, home, anywhere. The grade of course can feel as a reward for their efforts but it is only something momentary. If we constantly remind them that the beauty is in learning and they can only benefit from it, then both them and we have achieved our goal. If we remind them that they are great and should always try their best, because each child has their own skills and abilities, they will.

And be a model for their learning. Show them at specific instances that you too are learning alongside them.

I have not mentioned his name but I have still asked him for permission in order to use his example in my post. And I thank him very much for that! And for everything he has taught me all these years! I am very proud of you and you know who you are ; )

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5 thoughts on “Number Two: Re-evaluate Value – The 30 Goals Challenge”

  1. How very nice of you to have former students that you feel so interested in and can watch their progress over long periods of time. I must admit I’ve lost touch with most former students for different contexts.

    You bring up a good point – learning is ongoing. But another that rings with me since I’ve been reading a lot of the grade vs no grade debate in edureform is that no one will remember the grade you got in Class X in 201#. Though the grade may hold a certain importance at present, it won’t in the long run. As long as the grades were there, it’ll be the learning that is what you remember, not the facts you memorised in order to achieve a grade.

    1. Hi Tyson!

      Thank you so much for your comment. Exactly, the grade is there momentarily and can bring satisfaction or diappointment, depending on the grade, but it is the learning that remains. And I insist and agree with you that no matter what one’s profession is, if one is interested, learning is an ongoing process. And that is the beauty of it! So thank you for everything I learn from you daily. How lucky I am to learn from you and other educators!

      Have a great weekend,
      Vicky

  2. Hello Vicky!

    You’ve described a great issue here: the relevance of learning despite exams, grades and results. That former student of yours is a great example of the right attitude expected from students. Besides, I couldn’t agree more with you when you said that we, teachers, should be models of life-long learners. Thanks for sharing this reflective piece!
    Hugs from Argentina!
    Marisa

    1. Hi Marisa!

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      His example came at the right moment – I had been thinking about it for a long time, that sometimes grades are overemphasized, and sometimes especially if they are disappointing. He is a great person and enjoys learning, so it would not be so good if the grade is taken too much into consideration, as long as he or any other student is learning.

      You are my shining example of teachers being lifelong learners, as you have great material on your wiki you constantly search for, from which we all learn!

      Marisa’s wiki is: http://linguisticconsultancy.pbworks.com

      Hugs from Switzerland, Vicky

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