Saturday, May 29, 2010

Over Achiever

Karaia walked into the living room, holding a paper, and asked, "Mom, how do you get 100% in spelling?"

A bit confused because she hasn't gotten less than 100% in spelling all year other than the 1 time she fought me on studying and missed one (I know, nice lesson teaching ----if you don't study, you'll only get 99% and then how will you feel?), I said, "studying the words and practicing them. Did you miss some spelling words this week?"

"I only got 20/20 plus then I got the 6 bonus word right. But how do you get 100%?," she said as one who has done all they can do but still falls short.

"Honey, that's better than 100%!"

With tears in her eyes she explained, "But I saw Aidan's paper and it had 100% written on the top. Mine only says 20/20 + 6 on it."

Ah, now I see.

Aidan's mom had shared with me that spelling was a challenge for him this year and that Mrs. Pickett was very encouraging and always celebrating the little successes. I knew getting all the spelling words right that week would have been HUGE for him and deserving of some extra ink love from his teacher.

I tried to explain to Karaia how hard Aidan had been working in spelling and he didn't always get every word correct so getting them all right was a big accomplishment that Mrs. Pickett needed to make sure he knew just how great he had done. Mrs. Pickett was just as proud of her, but she had not had to work super hard to get good scores in spelling so Mrs. Pickett knew Karaia had the confidence she needed to keep up the great work.

She seemed a little placated by that information. I realized the lesson hadn't completely taken hold when I heard her mumble as she walked away, " I wanted my paper to say 100%"

Wow.  I was SO not like this in school. Don't get me wrong, I got very good grades, but never stressed about it much. This is new territory for me. Luckily for me I have a few amazing friends, who had similar feelings as Karaia, that I will be calling for advice.

Still, there are worse things to be stressed about.


Brianna said...

I married an over achiever, and while I love him for every bit of it... it can be exhausting at times!

Best part is that you probably won't have to ride her about school work. According to my mom who had two kids who took school on all by themselves, because they wanted to do good, and one who could have cared less, and so she had to babysit because of this... she'd choose a kid who is a little hard on themselves. Lots less worry and more sleep in the long run! :)

April Weeks said...

Maybe she'll grow out of it when she realizes that 20/20 is 100%.

Tobi said...

I wish Kate was a little more like that. When my kids don't act like over achievers I think they are lazy. I'll be calling you for your advice.