Earlier this week my friend, the same one from my last post, informed me that she was going to take honors classes at Front Range Community College, because she wanted to graduate with honors. She was afraid that she was not smart enough to handle the more challenging classes. But I reminded her about how smart she is and that she can handle anything that she comes across. And of course, she has the support of all of us who love and care for her. I was so excited for her and proud of her all at the same time. It seemed that she was bouncing back from the harsh words from her father about her education and going further in her pursuit for higher learning. I was so happy for her. But today she told me that after talking with her advisor/teacher that she is not going to pursue any honors classes. (Insert sound of air being let out of the balloon).
To make this part of the story short, the teacher/advisor convinced her that it would be too hard for her and it’s best to focus on keeping her GPA up. Maybe I’m wrong, but if feel that the teacher/advisor did a disservice to my friend. It is nice to have a high GPA, but by convincing someone that something is too hard for them, without letting them try on their own, does not allow the individual to grow as a person. Who are we as educators to not allow our students to give it a shot. If they fail, well then they fail, but they are able to learn from the experience. It’s as Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” As teachers, lets at least encourage our students to “take the shot.” The rest will be up to them, and we can watch as they grow from their failures, and from their successes. Hopefully my friend will reconsider and go for “the gold.” It’s nice to see your diploma and have it read, “With Honors.”