“I don’t know if I’m gonna get High Honors this quarter,” Mario whined at me today. “The math teacher never takes any grades so I don’t have a chance to raise my B. And the Social Studies extra credit is SO hard! And in reading, I have A, A, A, A, A,…, and one B, but I have a B average!”
She grew a little more positive as she listed off some chances to improve her grade in the next week or so, but she’s still concerned she won’t get ALL 3 of her B’s up to earn the High Honors award. She’ll have to settle for just Honors.
I offered her suggestions and encouragement – neither taken with much hope. Especially since she “already knows” who the Valedictorian and the Salutatorian of her class are going to be. “It’s obvious…”, she replied dripping with sarcasm, when I asked her how she could know with another whole quarter to go.
And she’s probably right. Her little class of 14 is a pretty smart group. And their 8th grade grades are the ones that determine who graduates with top honors. Only in the event of a tie, do they look at grades from the previous years. And when multiple people receive High Honors each quarter, one “slip-up” could cost them the title.
I changed tactics. Instead of giving her false hope, I mentioned how High School would offer her another chance at Valedictorian or Salutatorian. And all 4 of her years would go towards her grade point average. “And those grades are way more important,” I told her. “Wouldn’t it be cool to be the head of your class?”
She let the thought sink in for a little while, then went on with more typical 14 year old girl stuff. As the discussion came to an end, I realized that I’ve had many discussions with my very intelligent boys about raising their grades, but that was just to get them to pass their classes.
What a great feeling to know that one of the four has intelligence and motivation.
I plan on taking credit for this one.