Grades Are Overrated

Apprehension. I see it in the eyes of too many of my students when they turn in their midterms. Because midterms get graded, and grades, high grades, mean everything.

Do they?

What I’m about to say may be heresy in higher education, but I’ll say it anyway: Grades are overrated.

I know the highest grades get students into selective programs, like nursing or med school, but, even then, one’s previous grades don’t guarantee academic success. And they certainly don’t guarantee happiness.

Jodi Thomas, winner of four RITA awards, is the most successful author I know. She tells my students that she rarely made above a C in high school English classes. She was too busy gazing out the window, making up new stories.

Hard work, innovation, sacrifice, perseverance, honesty, generosity: These are things that lead to success.

Not grades. 🙂

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