My parents never put pressure on me to succeed. Well, they didn’t need to because I put so much pressure on myself that if they had I probably would have had a meltdown. However, what they always said to me was to do my best. Every grade that I brought home, no matter how low or high, my parents would ask “is this your best? If it is, we’re ok with that.” With that mindset, I would always examine my work to make sure that I was only submitting my best work every time. But, in the back of my mind I knew that no matter what I got, my parents would be proud of me because I was doing my best every day.
I have seen a growing trend in my classes and it is bothering me. I graded a student’s paper this week and he received an 8/10. Since I utilize a modified mastery system, students can complete up to 4 of any assignment in an effort to earn a higher grade and improve their understanding of the material. When I returned the paper to the student and mentioned that he can complete an additional version so he can improve his grade, he looked at the paper and said, ‘An 80? Eh, I’m good with that.’ This level of complacency is growing in my classes. It has nothing to do with this generation, a lack of motivation, laziness or anything like that. It’s an acceptance for being good enough. The belief that if I can’t be the best, I just better not be the worst.
if you want to be great,
pretty good, is, in fact, pretty bad.
So, dear students, I don’t settle for pretty good. We will always push the envelope in this class, even if I have to drag you kicking and screaming along the way.
You should never give me anything less than AWESOME every day.