When Did Getting One Bad Grade in School Become Such a Big Deal?

Have you ever had your teenager come to you and tell you how their world was ending? Have they hit you with normal problems that are crushing to them? I see it now with academic performance. Our daughter was devastated to get a bad grade in physics. She told me how that if her final grade dropped she might not get into the college she wanted to attend. What was not drastic to me was a highly emotional subject for her. My wife was not home during this discussion, so I tread softly and asked if physics tuition would help. She got excited and got on her computer right away to find a tutor.

I use physics in my job every day. I build bridges that need to hold up to heavy traffic and not fall down. My daily problems could literally be crushing if I do not know what I am doing. Of course I wanted our daughter to learn as much as she could about the sciences. Those are the jobs of the future. I did not see one bad grade to be as devastating as she was taking it, but I was getting a unique insight into the culture we are establishing in academics by pushing our kids to be top performers in everything. I think the world is way too competitive, but I do not have time to start a campaign to change the system. I only have the time and resources to help our daughter navigate through the mess the best that she can.

The physics tuition provider that she picked came with a long list of credentials and accomplishments. I was impressed that he was able to improve the grades of his students by two full grades. Our daughter would actually come out ahead with that as she was not falling that far behind.


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