It is almost the end of the school summer term. A busy time for trophies and awards. I wanted to take a moment to salute those who don’t always get them. I remember being that kid. Apart from the hard work I put into my drama exams, the only award I ever got at secondary school was when for “most improved swimmer.” It didn’t really feel like a school highlight, but I took it none the less. When I think that award, I try to focus on the word ‘improved’. That was, for me, was what school was all about. Trying your best when you are a C grade student often means you are the one who is unlikely to win the trophies, the accolades or get the glory.
So, I wanted to applaud all those students who do their homework, the ones who turn up to class on time, who smile through their lessons, who listen and try their best even though they find things hard to understand.
To the sports kids. The ones that sit on the bench but never get to play. The ones who would love the opportunity but may never score the winning goal in the game. Instead of being annoyed about what you are missing, remind your child that they are still part of a team and with that, should come great pride.
To the student who has a disastrous maths test last week because she spent most of the night not sleeping as she was worried about a friend who is having a hard time at home. You might have got only 50% in your maths paper, but we give you a score of 100% for empathy skills and thinking of others.
To the daydreamer who spends their time looking out the window. The one who is called upon by the teacher and it startles them. For you were dreaming bigger dreams whilst staring across the playground. But I tell you, although it is important to concentrate in class, please don’t ever lose you sense of daydreaming and curiosity. It is ok to dream of bigger things. A recent study led by Dr. Eric Schumacher and doctoral student Christine Godwin, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, suggests that daydreaming may not deserve the stigma that it sometimes gets; people whose minds tend to wander may, in fact, be smarter and more creative.
Summer is finally here and for most of us, we are hanging on to the last few weeks of school with our fingernails. The children are on their knees with tiredness, but I assure you, the end is within touching point. Enjoy the summer holidays and remember that school is not the only place where we learn. For we learn something new every day. Life is not a contest. Prizes and trophies don’t always dictate a happy and fulfilled life.
School is the only place in the world where you’re expected to excel at everything all at the same time. In real life, you’ll excel at what you do best and let others excel at what they do best. For the rest of your life, you will never again think of this C grade, but you’ll bring your character and your capacity for hard work to all your future endeavours.
If your child is happy and content, remember that you are always their teacher of life and if you achieve that, then you have already won the one prize that matters the most. Nowadays, I carry my C grade like a badge of honour. It reminds me of the person that I am and it never stopped me becoming an entrepreneur.