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How We Define “Success”

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life

as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

—Booker T. Washington

There are so many ways to measure a student’s achievements and successes—tests, grades, rubrics, awards, progress reports. At some level, these are valid resources that let us know if a student is reaching developmental expectations, and if not, what type of support to consider. Yet, these are external measures, i.e., someone else tells the student what is expected and what success looks like.

Just as we value seeing our students reach our expectations, it is vital that we honor the work that goes into collaborating with peers, developing friendships, taking a risk to learn a new skill, and the ability to keep working effectively when challenges arise. Students need to learn to reflect on their efforts and gauge their own progress. In an age when technology tempts us to think that answers are just one click or YouTube video away, students need to build tolerance for the ‘productive struggle’; not all answers come quickly, and some may not come at all.

At NMS, we are so fortunate to be part of a community that values the growth of the whole child (growing up is hard work!). The “prepared environment” and dedicated teachers combine to create classrooms that are brimming with success. To us, success means more than learning new skills; it also means asking big questions, resolving conflicts, lending a helpful hand, and developing the confidence to face challenges…all while having some fun along the way!

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