Monday, March 6, 2017

She doesn't have what it takes ...

The year was 1992.  I was one year away from graduating high school.  Socially, I was on top of the world.  Every weekend, plans to choose from and was comfortable choosing to stay home because I knew I didn't have to-I always had a game to go to or a party to attend.  Life was good.  On the social front, that is.

What was not shared with me until recently was that my high school guidance counselor, junior year of high school called me parents in for a meeting on evening as college prep began.  I heard this story a few weeks ago, actually.  

"Please have a seat, Ginny.  I'm glad you took the time to meet regarding your daughter and her future."  My mom apprehensively took a seat.  She knew I was that kid that always got invited back for more playdates when I was little-she always taught me the importance of being "the kid everyone wanted back".  "What on earth could this be about?" she thought as she anticipated this worst.  "You see, we just received her SAT scores."  Long pause.  A long look across the office.  "How bad could the be?" she thought.  "Ginny-the thing is, her scores were atrocious.  Certainly not the worst we have ever seen, but test scores are a true measure and, really, the ONLY measure of a child's understanding and success.  Their only real value.  The only way she will ever be accepted into a university worth attending is based on her ability to achieve on these tests."

And so the conversation went.  Words like, "She'll never amount to anything" and "She doesn't have what it takes" were repeated.  

Can you imagine sitting there, listening to an educator speak this way?  The sadness that must have taken over for my mother at that moment must have been crushing.

Here's the thing-it was everything BUT crushing.  Instead, she believed what any good mother would think.  She even screamed it out, "You couldn't be more wrong!"  "She will succeed!  She will and no one, especially you, will tell her otherwise."

That child who had difficulty taking tests and finding her way academically until she found her niche has gone on to become an educator and one who believes with everything she has in insisting at measuring success by contributions to our world instead of a single (and stupid!) test.


  1. What a great ending to that story. It amazes me that teachers could have thought that, but unfortunately not all educators understand grades and tests aren't everything. It sounds like you had wonderful parents that encouraged you, regardless of test scores.

  2. Go, Mom, go! What a wonderful mom!
    Shocked me to hear the message she was given. Crazy!
    You did not need that darn test!

    Thank you for sharing this slice.

  3. My parents received similar news about my potential based on those test scores. You know what? Those folks were wrong about both of us!