What if…we haven’t got the grades?


I hope you’ve achieved what you wanted this month – and I celebrate with you if you have! – so that you can go on to do whatever you passionately want to do, but if you haven’t got what you had hoped for I know that you may feel disappointed.

It’s truly a shame that society so often looks at the A’s and the B’s and 1’s and the 9’s ahead of who a person is. I want to encourage you to look beyond the grades!

We can so easily get dragged down in disappointment if we haven’t quite hit the marks that were expected of us or that had been hoped for. Here’s a thing though. What you bring to the world is more than the marks on paper. The marks you make on people’s lives matter more. The way you make people feel matters more. Your determination to help those weaker than yourself; your sense of humour that makes friends feel good; a hand held and a word of encouragement are all so much more important. Your gifts to the world matter!

Your significance in the world is about who you are and what you offer to people in the world.

I love this picture.

It says so much about the person in the middle especially. In this picture I see kindness, a sense of protection, the acceptance of responsibility and also a gentleness. I know the child in this photo and he may well achieve ‘high standards’ but what he brings to those around him will always, for me, outweigh any grades.

I hope you do have the grades you want, but if you don’t, don’t settle on thinking that that is the sum total of your work. Your identity isn’t dependent on grades.

Prayer or reflection

Lord, help me to be strong in who I am. Help me to know that my identity in the world is about who I am and how I am with those around me. Let me grasp that the marks I leave through kindness, boldness and a willingness to care matter so, so much more than any immediate disappointment. Thank you Lord that my identity is in you! Amen

One thought on “What if…we haven’t got the grades?

  1. Thanks Jackie, my son is an assistant head and frets about results as much if not more than the pupils (my husband was the same when he was teaching)! I’ve forwarded your blog to my son. Please hold in your prayers him and all teachers who walk alongside children in the thick of exam results, supporting and consoling and so often holding themselves at fault if desired results aren’t achieved.


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