Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What's in a Grade?

The semester is nearing an end and this week is Midterm Week. I don't remember having midterms when I was in high school, and I don't remember taking school very seriously at that point in my life either, but I at least KNEW when the tests were going to be! Over the last several days, I have given my midterms for the various classes that I teach and am blown away by the number of kids who come into class and state matter-of-factly, "oh, yeah, we have a test today, don't we?"

The thing that I have to come to terms with is the fact that my students don't actually CARE if they are learning anything. They want the A. They would rather be handed things than earn them. In fact, even if they learned something, if it didn't result in an A, they would rather have not learned it at all.

I think that most people have this attitude, myself included. Kids would rather be given a present than do their chores, earn and allowance and buy something themselves. Employees want raises and promotions because they feel entitled to it, not because they've earned it. That's why people play the lottery - to win something that they don't have to work for.

I take this attitude so many times with God. I want the gifts, not the lessons. I want the instant gratification, not the molding process. I want the here and now, I don't want to be patient. I want what is going to make my life easier for less effort. It's a challenge to override this emotion and work for what I want, but in the end, that's what He expects from us.

And it's what I expect from my kids!