Grades Are Not The Most Important Thing About School

Studious girl asleep among her books.

Find out why the most successful people in the world don't have good grades.

"Never let school interfere with your education," this is something I learned from my good imaginary friend and great American writer, Mark Twain. However, it took me years to understand what he really meant by this phrase. Eventually I understood that the words "qualifications" and "success" don't go hand in hand, at least not in the way we think.

A Strange Competition

Why have good grades? "Because yes," our teachers and all the adults said.

If you do not get 10 you are destined for an abyss, or worse, "you will be a poor devil" or "you will sell gum on the corners".

Young man selling cigarettes, chewing gum and other candies.

In my case, I used to be in the school escort. It was an honor (although now it is quite a shame in the photographs). That happy face that the teacher put in my notebook every time I took a perfect exam made me feel good. Or receiving those little bee stamps because of my "good work."

On the other hand, the author of "The Most Intelligent Children in the World", Amanda Ripley, assures that teaching to think is the key to success in the future. That is, it is not number 10 on the ballot. So, so much effort in my tasks was of no use?

Qualifications and Success: Do They Go Hand In Hand?

Sorry to disappoint you, but a good grade does not ensure success. Unlike being a good student, success consists of the ability to break through the competition, make wise decisions, and face fears.

My brother is the perfect example. He was always the friend, whom the teachers complained about because he was so naughty. He challenged everyone, wanted to know more, wanted to know more. He did not settle for stamps in his notebook, nor did he believe that that made him a better student than me.

Boy in school solving an exam.

Today my brother is an entrepreneur, he finished his career in Economics, with a specialization as a consultant in solar energy issues (something very interesting, by the way).

Grades Don't Matter

Thanks to my brother, I was able to understand something very important. The success and worth of a person is not measured by the size of their tasks or by the way they are rated in front of others, but by what they learn despite the world telling them otherwise.

I also learned that people like him have these 5 characteristics:

  • They are not perfectionists: They know that life is full of surprises and you have to know how to enjoy them.
  • They love to learn on their own: Just because they don't like school doesn't mean they don't love studying life and its curiosities.
  • They are dreamers: They have plans and dare to imagine better worlds.
  • They are not sheep: They prefer the original than the trend.
  • They question the validity of the academic system: Not because an authority of something for granted, means that there is no need to question it.

Little Evil Genius

Didn't I convince you? Consider the following, great geniuses like Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Winston Churchhill, Tomas Edison, and Albert Einstein all got bad reviews from their teachers. They didn't meet the standards and were considered bad students when they were little.

Also, writers like Balzac and musicians like Debussy, were considered rebellious children and did not pay attention. Therefore, it is not decisive that a bad grade makes a pure “beggar”, as my mother would say when I tell her about my follies of wanting to be a writer.

The True Value

In Mexico, the biggest issue is that perhaps we learned to get away with it. We say a lot that it doesn't matter how we get it as long as possible.

Accordion for an exam, example of the opposite of grades and success.

There is so much traffic in this country. From an act as small as preferring to cheat on an exam, to passing us a traffic ticket. The final grade is more important than the teaching. This must not happen. Education is a value, it is knowing that we have to do what is necessary to be better as a society.

Ratings Are Not Everything

Sheldon (from the Big Bang Theory show) throws papers.

In conclusion, it is not necessary to pressure children to be geniuses. You have to see education from another angle. Not following the rules just for the sake of it. School is just a small piece of our education. Let your children find their way. Find a balance between demanding grades and creativity in everyday life. Example and values will be what most define success at the end of the road.

Einstein and your son could have a lot in common. Discover the secret behind the geniuses: 3 Ideas To Develop The Creativity Of Your Children