There are three types of students: A students, B students and C students.
B students usually get jobs with the government while A students usually wind up working for C students.
That paraphrased quote comes from a business seminar I attended a few years back.
Actually, I think it would be more accurate to say, A students once in a while wind up working for C students.
If I’d written that in the first place, though, it would have taken the impact out of the main point, which is, education is not just about getting good grades.
But please don’t get me wrong; I definitely think going to school, working hard and learning as much as possible are valuable things to do.
I’m writing about this now because my youngest daughter just got her GCSE results over hear in England and because secondary school students in Botswana are preparing for their O levels, A levels, IGCSE and other exams that start in October.
I’m happy to say my daughter did very well but I have to add that I would not have been terribly upset if she hadn’t received the grades she was after as long as she had tried her best and learned how to learn.
And one of the main reasons I feel that way is because every time someone takes a test more than one thing can be judged.
You have the person taking the test, but you also have the test itself and in essay based exams like English or History, the person marking the test.
Sometimes tests are not fair and sometimes the people evaluating the answers have narrow views, so it is possible for intelligent students to get poor grades.
Going back to that quote at the top of the page; the reason C students sometimes go on to employ people with lofty university degrees could be that they don’t always do what they are told to do.
Open minded reasoning might hinder their ability to learn things they don’t see the point of learning, but it might also allow them to see an opportunity, and if they have learned how to learn, to develop the opportunity into a business.
Having said that, I should mention that sometimes it is important to learn whatever is thrown at you in class even if you don’t think it will come in useful at a later stage in your life.
You never know, and if you can learn just for the sake of learning or simply because you need a certificate, then when you decide not to learn something, it will be because you chose to use your time to do something else, not just because you are lazy… which brings us back to that opening quote.
Obviously there are more than three types of students if we are talking A, B, C, D… fail.
But when you really come down to it, there may be just two types – dedicated and lazy – and I think if students are always willing to give it their best, they are going to be just fine, regardless of what it says on their school reports.