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High Achieving Kids Caught in the Performance Trap

Austin Educator Mike Yates had a mom who would accept nothing lower than an A when he was in school.

He managed to bring these home, but perhaps not that surprisingly he went on to become an education entrepreneur, changing the way school is taught and success is measured. His piece on “When Students Get Caught in the Trap of Performance — And How to Get Them Out” will ring true for people who are raising,  teaching, or remember being kids who focus on grades and trophies as a source of self-worth — their ONLY source of self-worth. The problem, writes Mike:

Teachers, psychologists, and experts can all tell you about the benefits of healthy competition. It can be a good thing, but we need to make sure our students aren’t taking it too far. This study found that students in high-achieving schools are now considered at-risk for chronic stress because of their “excessive pressure to excel.” They are listed right alongside kids who are living in poverty or kids who have a parent who is incarcerated.

Read his essay here, at Let Grow. And remember, The Let Grow Project, which has kids go home and do new things on their own, is a super way to have kids succeed at something other than academics.


Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash

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