“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” – Mark Twain Do grades matter anymore? According to one of the most influential companies on the planet today: not really. In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman interviews the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google Inc., Laszlo Bock. [...]
There are times when we finally see the light. When years of old thinking is suddenly and instantly swept away and the truth is there right in front of us. Many of us call this an “Aha” moment.
Usually we just turn over and go back to sleep. The truth seems too inconvenient, it might demand too much change and too much effort. And, hell, I’m on summer vacation! But, deep down inside we know we’ve been exposed to a new way of thinking, a shift in perspective that will simply never let us go back to ‘the good old days’.
What is it with elementary and high school teachers? Here’s a scenario that, unfortunately, is all too common:
Student: “Oh, Mrs. Smith, I wanted to hand in my report on the Solar System”.
Teacher: “I can’t accept that report”.
Student: “Why not?”
Teacher: “That report was due yesterday. You can’t turn it in late!”
Student: “Why, did the Solar System change that much since yesterday?”
Teacher: “No, but it is my job to teach you responsibility! And also, you have to learn that in life you do not get second chances!”
A conversation overheard a million times in classrooms across America. “Why”, complains 4th grade student Timmy, “Did I get a C on my report card”? “Oh no, Timmy”, replies his teacher, “You didn’t get a C, you earned a C!” (In the age of massive grade inflation – a discussion for another time – I guess this conversation would include a B, or even an A-.) Timmy walks away unconvinced. Actually, he thinks, I didn’t earn it, you gave it to me.