Regardless of which education system you’re in, grades are the ultimate test for how a student’s performing. However, as recent research has shown and with the implementation of distance learning, letter grades may not be the best indicator of what a student’s strengths are. There are a lot of indicators that grades don’t account for including effort, critical thinking and collaboration. Plenty of real life skills that turnover directly into the job market like respect, emotional intelligence and honesty aren’t measured through grades either. Internal strengths, while harder to enumerate, are much more important to living a successful, well-adjusted life.
By the time our brains reach adolescence, we already have the ability to think critically and work ourselves around problems. These types of skills are what people will use best to challenge the status quo and innovate in the near future. The question is why are these skills not measured? The challenge is that these skills are tough to measure. We live in a generation that is run by numerics more than ever before. So we should teach our students that their identity and self-worth should not be based on numbers and grades alone. Building character strengths and consistency is most beneficial in moving forward further into adulthood.
Grades focus more on a product over process means, however the habits and day by day decisions to get good grades mean way more than the results at the end of the day. Grades can be a means of motivation, however for those with learning disabilities, it can be discouraging. The most important thing is to focus on yourself holistically- how are your relationships, what information really interests you and so on and so forth. Having the self awareness to know who you are will give leeway to performing great in the classroom and outside.