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With all the talk being ‘back-to-school’, it brought back some memories from long ago, when my own children were in school. I had many friends and co-workers whose children were along the same age and grades as mine. The times we were together, the talk would always turn to *the great grades their child was making* the scholarships they were getting* their grade point average* graduating HS early* awards they were receiving* etc., etc., etc.

And, because I loved these friends and their children, I was very happy for them. And, they had a right to be proud. But, my child was not on that level. He struggled in school. He worked very hard to get a ‘C’. A ‘B’ was THE most wonderful thing. Just finishing a project on time and remembering to turn it in was a major accomplishment. We struggled to keep up enough to pass. And, it had nothing to do with intelligence. It had nothing to do with ability. It had nothing to do with ‘want to’. It all had to do with ‘learning differently’. Some children can read a book and then sit and write a book report on it and pass a fill in the blank test. Other children read that book and actually go to that place and fight the dragons and save the princess…they live the book. They probably couldn’t pass that fill in the blank test…but that book is now a part of their soul. Which one is right?

So many times, we get caught up in seeing our children excelling…and it is important to have a goal and strive to meet it. But, for some, the goals must be different. There is, however, the same sense of accomplishment when met. I see parents who push and pull and punish and make it their responsibility to get their child through school with the highest grade point average ever. When a mother or father sits with their children as they do every single bit of their homework, every night…I want to tell them to ‘get a grip’! Homework should be done by the child. I’m not saying not to help when they get bogged down…but, so they miss some, that’s what it’s all about. New subject…work on problems…get some right…good…get some wrong…figure out why…LEARNING! But, if you have sit beside them and do it all with them, where is their opportunity to make some mistakes? There is nothing wrong with missing some on a test. There is nothing wrong with getting a ‘C’ or a ‘B’. What IS wrong is for them not to do THEIR best.

I think what I am trying to say is this. When you are in a group of friends, talking about your children…remember to include all the children. Celebrate the goals reached…even if they are not the same. And, this may come as a surprise to you, but…every child is not cut out for college! That’s right! And, that’s OK. Maybe it is a JR. college. Maybe it’s a training program. Maybe it’s going to work and being an apprentice to a craftsman. And, this is all honorable. When we were building The Creek House, it was staggering how much the hourly wage was for the man who laid our stacked stone fireplace. It is a work of art. But, a dying one. What a shame. Are their students who would love to work with their hands and create their own works of art, but are pushed and pulled to go to THE right college?

I was in Texas one summer with my family, and we stopped by a T-shirt stand, reading all the clever sayings that had printed on them. One of my boys came to me, and quietly said, “Look, Mom, I wish I had this one.” I looked at the one he was holding and it said, “THE WORLD IS RUN BY ‘C’ STUDENTS’. Finally, some acknowledgment of the average, middle of the road student. Finally, someone had said that these students mattered as much as those who were getting 2 or 3 degrees. We bought the shirt…he wore it proudly.

Is your world run by ‘C’ students? Who fixes your car, who cuts and sells the lumber you use to build this or that? Who comes and cleans your pool, who plants your yard and keeps it free of debris? Who runs the cleaners, the gas station, the zippy mart? Who grooms your dog, who resoles your shoes, who brings food to the farmers market? Who cleans your church, unstops your toilet, who fixes your quarter pounder with cheese, who paints your house? And, we could go on and on.

“For the Lord has blessed you in all the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 2:7

All work is honorable. And, all who do honest work are to be admired.

Stop and think about the world you live in…and be thankful that there are ‘C’ students in it ! Hey, you may even want to thank them once in a while! They would love it!

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16 Comments

  1. Bravo Tonja! Great post! This needs to printed in the school newsletter to parents.

    Hugs,
    Kat

  2. "Are their students who would love to work with their hands and create their own works of art, but are pushed and pulled to go to THE right college?"

    This reminds me of two things—when I was in college, I so badly wanted NOT to be, for I was there for my parents—I was always the one with the A reportcards, but I just wanted a home to keep. And one day, in PEANUTS, little Sally said to no one in particular:

    "All I want to do is get married and be a good wife and mother. Why should I have to go to Kindergarten?"

    And it also reminds me of the thought of the "lost music" which must have never been born because the artist was not born to have a violin or piano, but surrounded by drums or oboes or cottonfields or coal mines.

    Marguerite Piazza said to Johnny Carson once that "there's no one out there in the world to do your homework for you."

  3. PS, and don't print"

    I can't seem to find a way back to your older posts, and don't know what topic to choose—what am I missing?

  4. My children fit right into that post! I once had a co worker come to work one morning crying (really boo hoo crying!) and I asked what was wrong and she said "Blank made 4 C's on his report card!" I replied, If mine made 4 C's I would be dancing in the streets!

    Our youngest made all A's most of his school life….he didn't have to try, he just absorbs information. He's the one with nystagmus and a doctor we took him to in Gainesville told him he needed to make a B before he got to college so it wouldn't be so traumatizing when he did! But we didn't push him, he just did it on his own.

    I agree. Never push a child to be what YOU want him to be.

  5. Your so right. My son could barely look through a book, write a report and get an A. He went to college and has a wonderful job. His kindergarden teacher told us that he puts too much pressure on himself. It never came from us. I kept telling him that someday he will have to buckle down and learn how to study harder. It never happened, it all just came to him. Our daugher on the other hand struggled for a C and never went to college. She has always had more common sence then our son. Everyone is different and I agree that our world is run by people who got C's and I am very happy to have them.

  6. My husband ended up working one summer at a shop that someone his dad knew worked at. He went to college for two years then he worked that summer job and they offered him a position as purchasing agent. Sometime just being at the right place at the right time is important. He ended up going to college at night and got his degree. However we would not be where we are today without that offer. He ended up becoming VP of the company. I thought I had a point here but it's not really making much sense. Anyway, the word is filled with wonderful people and being an A student doesn't make you better. I think it was Bill Cosby who wrote a book about paying thousands of dollars for educating our children in college only to have them flip burgers. It's the person and we can accomplish all with desire.

  7. We, too, had a son who struggled through school and, as my husband is fond of saying, "crammed four years of college into six" … but once he was out in the "real world" working in a job he loved, he excelled and went on to acquire additional certifications in his field (computer security).

    I agree with Kat … this post should be mandatory reading for parents of all the school children in Dothan, beginning with first grade … and it's too bad they don't have any of those t-shirts to sell. Perhaps a "C student" will come along and do just that!

  8. Very well said! I'm blessed that Matthew does very well in school, but I know there are lots of kids who struggle. They're GREAT KIDS, but sometimes they're just not cut out for being educated in the way that society "traditionally" expects. I tell my students every year that college isn't for everyone and it isn't a requirement for a successful future, BUT… some type of training/skills IS!

  9. My children fit right into that post! I once had a co worker come to work one morning crying (really boo hoo crying!) and I asked what was wrong and she said "Blank made 4 C's on his report card!" I replied, If mine made 4 C's I would be dancing in the streets!

    Our youngest made all A's most of his school life….he didn't have to try, he just absorbs information. He's the one with nystagmus and a doctor we took him to in Gainesville told him he needed to make a B before he got to college so it wouldn't be so traumatizing when he did! But we didn't push him, he just did it on his own.

    I agree. Never push a child to be what YOU want him to be.

  10. So very well said – thank you!

  11. Kathleen Holland |

    Thank you Mrs. Tonja! With Will being an only child, this post really opened my eyes!

  12. Great post, Tonja! With all the kids I've mothered I think I've had almost every kind of learner.

    And by the way, the guy that fixes your car just may have been an A student in school, haha. Just sayin'. I think I know someone like that!

  13. Jean, you are so right! With the job situation like it is these days…any one could be doing any job!

  14. Some of us finished Grad School, however =)

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