High school is the last safe place to fail.
This statement may sound harsh, negative, or even flippant, but it's true. The consequences of failing a quiz, test, course, or even performing poorly in a friendship are minimal in high school. Here at Wye River Upper School, we push our students to perform at the top of their skillset, knowing they will struggle. We anticipate the struggle because with the struggle comes growth.
As good educators, we continually reassure our students that the growing pains they are experiencing will make them stronger.
Let's be honest, high school students are trying to figure out what their best is. We pride ourselves on being educators who support the whole student. Meaning, we do not use a curve as a part of our grading system, and we don't celebrate only honor roll students. We celebrate the growth of all our students. We help them refocus their energy to accomplish their academic and social-emotional goals.
Yes, high school is quite possibly the last place for our young adults to be young.
If you are the parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent of a high schooler, remind them to enjoy the entire learning process; highs and lows. Support them when they are doing well and support them when they are facing challenges. Help them find the motivation to work smarter and to be fearless. Make high school a safe place to try new things. Everyone doesn't get a trophy, and that's ok. We are hoping everyone leaves having felt respected, heard, and seen.
How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, by Julie Lythcott-Haims
What Do You Say?: How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home, by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson