There's Something About Those Pesky Grades Running Our Lives

There's Something About Those Pesky Grades Running Our Lives

Describing all the ways grades affect our lives and ways to counter it.
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Each week, the writers for Odysessy receive an email newsletter from our Editor-in-Chief. Since its finals week at Cleveland State, and a lot of my fellow writers are really feeling stressed out, we received this bit of wisdom in our inboxes:

"Friendly reminder: Your final grades do not define who you are or your self-worth. You are important, you are loved, and you are enough." -Kelly Prososki, Editor-in-Chief for Cleveland State University Community.

Even though I'm not a student this semester, I remembered just how much I bought into one's grades determining their worth. I think because of the very nature of grades. It's not like if you get awful grades you'll still succeed. Unfortunately, grades do determine whether we can be accepted into something better.

Grades have always meant A LOT to me because I was always told either directly or indirectly that I wasn't smart, to begin with. At home, whatever I felt, though, said or did was stupid. My classmates called me stupid (among other names) because I was introverted (because unfortunately introversion is often equated with someone having no intelligence).

I would wear myself out trying to get decent grades, to prove to everyone in my life that I could. Grades is one of the major reasons I'm still trying to pursue a bachelors degree at 37 years old. Good grades will earn me the bachelors everyone is determined I'm too dumb to get. Good grades will get me in the door to get a masters degree that everyone laughs and turns their noses up at me when I tell them that's what I want.

I'm not the only person in my circle that's been affected by the finality of grades. My best friend has placed in LD (Learning Disabilities) classes for her whole school experience. She frequently spoke of how teachers and our other peers disregarded her because of her grades.

She couldn't keep good grades at a trade school after she finally graduated high school, and because of her grades, she hasn't been able to go back to college since. Good grades make it so you can move on and try to learn things more complex.

It's difficult to keep in mind that grades don't define you because in many ways, grades do define you. Grades determine how intelligent you are and if you're worthy to move on. Grades reveal how much effort you put into an endeavor. Grades show people what you're capable of. Grades tell you your interests, strengths, and weaknesses.

However, the last parts of Kelly's advice are important to keep in mind as well. When grades are bearing down on your ability to function and move forward in society, you can always remember the big three's.

You are loved by your friends, family, and significant other(s). You are important to those whose lives you touch with your presence, your words, and your attention. Finally, you ARE enough - even if your grades say your not.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Yes, I Want To Be A Teacher

"You know you don't make that much money, right?"
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Yes, I want to be a teacher. Yes, I know what the salary of a teacher is like. Yes, I know that people will view my future career as “easy.” No, I would not want any other job in the world.

I am sure that I am not the only future educator who has had enough with hearing all the critiques about becoming a teacher; we are tired of hearing all the negative aspects because it’s obvious that the positives will ALWAYS outweigh those judgemental negative comments.

So, why do I want to be a teacher? I am sure that I speak for many other future teachers when I say that I am not doing it for the salary, benefits, or even the summer vacation (although that is a great plus!).

I want to be a teacher because I will be able to wake up on Mondays and actually be excited. Saturday and Sunday will be a nice break to relax, but I know that I will be ready to fill up my apple-shaped mug with coffee on Monday morning and be ready for a day full of laughs and new lessons for my students for the upcoming week.

I want to be a teacher because I get to have an impact on tomorrow's leaders. No, I don’t mean that I’m predicting my future student to be the president of the United States (but, hey, that would be a pretty cool accomplishment). I mean that I have the job to help students recognize that they have the power to be a leader in and out of the classroom.

I want to be a teacher because I don’t want an easy day. Challenges are what push me to greatness and success. Although many people think teaching is an easy profession, I know that it isn’t easy. It’s very hard, every day at every moment. But it is worth it when a student finally understands that math problem that stumped them for awhile and they have a huge smile from ear to ear.

I want to be a teacher because I want to work with kids. I mean, come on, what else is greater than a kid having fun and you’re the reason why? A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a child being excited and having fun while learning is worth a million.

I want to be a teacher because I don’t want a high salary. If I really cared about making a six-figure income, I would have chosen a different profession. Teaching is not about the check that I bring home every week or two, it’s about what I learn and the memories that I make; the memories that I get to share with my family at dinner that night.

SEE ALSO: To The Teacher Who Helped Shape Me

I want to be a teacher because there is nothing else in this world that I’d rather do for the rest of my life. Sure, there may be other jobs that are rewarding in more ways. But to me, nothing can compare to the view of a classroom with little feet swinging back and forth under a desk from a student learning how to write their ABCs.

Teaching may not be seen as the perfect profession for everyone, but it is the perfect profession for me.

Cover Image Credit: TeacherPop

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