Why we need to stop focusing on marksAug 11, 2023
We don’t talk about marks in our family. Instead, we focus on the process of learning.
Did you do something hard?
Did you make a mistake and learn from it?
Did you get something wrong and then ask the teacher to explain it to you?
These are the questions that build internal motivation, good mental health and ultimately set children up for success.
If you focus on the process of learning the marks take care of themselves.
Why we should stop focusing on marks We do not talk about marks. We only talk about the process of learning and the process of doing the tests. You know, my parents didn't know every mark I got on every test, whereas we do and what we're teaching our boys and our girls, is that marks and external validation matter for everything, and this is a disaster for mental health. It is a disaster for internal motivation. It's a disaster for curiosity. It's also a disaster for success because they psych themselves out or they stop trying because they just feel like there's too much pressure on them all the time. So we need to actively back off with the measurement. And if this is really challenging for you to listen to, think about. Let me ask you, what did you get on your grade three math test? Chances are you don't know, right? You don't know because it doesn't matter. It's had absolutely zero impact on your life. But yet the way we treat tests and marks for our children, it's as if their whole future depends upon it. And we've heard stories and spoken to kids who have vomited before primary school tests because they feel so much pressure. That is not how we get the best out of our kids, and it's not how we raise them to like themselves. I also see the other end of this because I work in a university, creative arts. And so what I get is a lot of students who started on a degree that they thought was acceptable, that they thought was going to lead to the high paying job and they realised they absolutely hated it. We often get a lot of students coming through to us doing postgraduate work. So these are students who have already gone through a degree, And they've, you know, might have done a law degree, and they realise I actually hate law. I never want to be a lawyer ever again. So I would really encourage you to get your boy to get in touch with his passions and his interests, and to kind of, you know, do the things that he finds enjoyable because it likely he will find a path to that thing that actually makes money on that thing as well. Because when he puts his blinkers on and it's all marks, marks, marks, marks, marks, marks, what is not seeing is himself. He he misses the opportunity to discover who he is, what he cares about, what his passions are, And those are the things that are going to get him through the hardships of life.
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