#FiveMinuteFriday – Ordinary

The premise is simple: We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that is post on the site below (click on the image!) at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.


I’m more precious that I realized about my job. It appears that I will defend my commitment to the death (well, nearly).

I received some criticism wrapped up in a complement today which has niggled me. I can categorically say that I will treat every student I teach as an individual and without exception, I want them to do their best. When they don’t do their best I do get frustrated with them (that’s a whole other post), but when their best isn’t good enough, that’s when I find myself in a horrible struggle between my firm held belief that your best will always be good enough (I believe this SO much that it is tattooed on my forearm) and the desperation to meet league table statistics. When it comes to league tables, sometimes your best isn’t good enough.

I can’t morally balance the idea that as a teacher I would disregard or encourage a student to give up simply because their academic ability meant that a C grade would be a huge challenge for them. If they are willing to slog it out and do their very best then I would celebrate that C like it was reaching the moon. Except ultimately we don’t. Hard work doesn’t always guarantee success (although laziness pretty much guarantees a lack of it).

If we define success as retention and achievement of exam results, then perhaps this can only be achieved by creaming the top performers off and into your subject at the start. But where is the fairness in that? What of the ordinary? Those with ordinary grades who work at an ordinary pace and make little fuss as they go.

As universities require higher entry grades and schools strive for a place in a competitive market, being ordinary is becoming a dangerous place to be.




5 thoughts on “#FiveMinuteFriday – Ordinary

  1. Wow, you describe the conflict very well. As an adult educator I struggle with this a bit less but definitely appreciate the struggle and your great dedication to your students. Well done!


  2. Wow – I’ve often thought about this – how today we aren’t okay with our kids being ordinary in any way, but that by expecting extraordinary, we stunt them in so many ways. As a former teacher, I sometimes wish learning could just be for learning’s sake and to heck with the grades. I have a very gifted son – he has a 4.0 – but he doesn’t love learning. I have a younger son who gets good grades but is much more ordinary academically, but he loves learning new things. Whose ahead there? Thanks for this thought-provoking post! 🙂


    • There are schools that run with this idea. Humanistic education works with learning for learnings sake, but its very rare to find a school willing to move away from goal setting and certainly not a state school.


  3. Hey, thanks for visiting me. Love what you said. We push our kids so hard and expect so much. We need to let them be kids and excel at just being themselves.


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