Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tests, Tests, Tests

Since my students have been testing this week in the much publicized "high stakes" tests, achievement has been on my mind.  As kids, there tons of ways to measure our achievement Sometimes we are measured against others, such as winning championships.  Other times, our efforts are evidenced in achievements such as making an honor roll.         
As adults, we also measure our achievement--the most obvious indicator being salary.   We often view people who are financially successful as "winners" in the game of life.  Perhaps we compare our homes or cars to those of others. There are no medals or honor rolls in adult achievement.   My students have worked really hard and were very successful on this morning's test. I try to teach them that if they work hard they will be successful. As writers we may feel successful when finish a manuscript, get an agent, or make a best sellers' list.

How do you measure success?
What makes you feel successful?


  1. That's a tough one because if you measured success by salary, getting an agent or selling a book, I'd be a total failure. But I raised two children who've become productive citizens. I am involved with several groups and organizations on a volunteer basis. Hell, I survived a divorce. That alone should put me in the success column.

    I think maybe one definition of success may lie in this quote: To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.


  2. I try to view success as related to failure. If you risk failures, you are a success. (I mean if it's a worthwhile pursuit and you tried your best.) I like to think that's what RWA is saying by having the PRO group--you are trying to sell, you have completed a work, so you should get recognition for that. Easy for me to say that about others, but not so much myself. And striving to be a good person is important. :)

  3. Marilyn, I absolutely agree that having two productive children AND surviving divorce certainly both count as huge successes!

    Reina, You make a good point that continuing to try certainly counts as a success!

  4. Oh, there are so many tiers of success. But teaching children early on that winning and losing are all part of life, is the greatest gift you can give a child.

    I think one of the hardest things to learn is that 'by simply trying, you've succeeded'. When the world is so focused on 'by-product', keeping this positive outlook can be very difficult. Feeling successful, feeling validated by work, family, volunteerism, philanthropy efforts, all depends upon the mind-set of the individual and what that individual is searching for or has been programmed to accept. Just bettering an old record or improving a test score shows success.

    As writers, we all know that balancing success stems upon the coveted contract. But Reina is right. PRO gives authors a boost of esteem within the RWA sphere. Certainly, writing The End exemplifies success to a writer. And the list goes on and on and on...

    But the concept of success can find its foundation in good parenting/teaching. Thanks for helping young people feel special, Stephanie. You are such a great example!

  5. I never really think I have failed. Sometimes I think I just haven't succeeded yet.