– Anonymous

Today in a “school parents” Facebook group, a little discontent broke out. It occurred after a very proud parent posted a picture of her son’s grades. She was beaming through the keyboard I am sure, sharing the good news of straight A+ on his exams.

I think it’s great that her son kicked academic butt. And if you’re the type to share those kinds of personal achievements in a social media parent’s group, hey, that is great!

But after that initial grade sharing post, plenty more of the same followed, until one parent chimed in with, “I thought this was a support group for parents, not a bragging group?”

I hear you mom. I hear you loud and clear.

Like many others, I too am concerned with the grades my kids are receiving, but maybe the years have wised me up a little, because my perspective on their success is not what it once was. While I think it is great that her student was able to master Arithmetic while doing his own laundry for the first time, I’d like to know if he also did some of this…

Did he sit with a classmate or neighbour who was stressed? Did he calm them down, make them laugh, join them for lunch, or walk to the library with them, all while knowing he had studying to do himself, but remedying their sadness was more important?

Did she take class notes for a sick classmate?

Did he smile and give a nod of thanks to the staff member or helper for assisting him with something?

Did she take out her room’s garbage without being asked, even when it’s not her assigned room chore?

Did he share his lunch with the classmate that forgot to bring their lunch?

Did she take a friend to the health centre or sickroom when her friend fell down and hurt herself?

Did he comfort a classmate that got lower grades and wanted to help them get better grades next time?

There is no report card for any of that.

There is no grading rubric for being a decent human being.

Parents, it’s awesome you’re proud of your kid’s grades! Shout it to the world!

But it’s also awesome to remember that a academic report card does not define a life, or even a portion of it.

An “A” in Arithmetic is great, but a metaphorical “A” in kindness, graciousness, and unselfishness is, well, you can’t put a grade on that kind of success.

The writer wishes to remain anonymous.

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