Overachieving Isn’t Always The Answer

, , , , | Learning | April 21, 2020

This happens when I am in third grade, nine years old, and getting the second report card of the school year. The teacher hands them out at the end of the school day, but my mother and I see her at my dance studio that night.

Me: “Ms. [Teacher]? Why did I get a bad grade in reading?”

Teacher: “You didn’t take any of your reading quizzes. You need to read a book every month.”

Mom: “You know her. You know she’s read more books than any other student in your class. What are these reading quizzes you’re talking about?”

Teacher: “The ones on the computer. It generates a report automatically, grading each test and averaging them out with what I put in for your grade.”

Me: “You mean I have to do more? But I already have all my points. Twelve books, twelve quizzes.”

Teacher: “Wait… You already did them all? When?”

Me: “The first month of school.”

By taking every quiz I needed to in the first semester, the software was setting me up with zeros for the rest of the year. They changed it immediately to be one book a month rather than the ten books a year the syllabus had stated.

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