A, B, C, D, F?

When the




report card

comes back

we ask,

“What did you get?”

as if the letter were something definitive.


Ask any student what those letters mean

and you will hear something like,

“They mean I’m smart or I’m dumb.”


We’re asking the wrong questions

which gives us the wrong answers.


Instead of

“What did you get?”

we can ask,

What did you learn?

What surprised you?

What don’t you understand?

How can you use this?

What else does this make you think of?


The same is true for the questions we ask ourselves.


Instead of asking,
“How did I do?”

We can ask,

What did I learn?

What surprised me?

What don’t I understand?

How can I use this?

What else does this make me think of?

How could I make this even better?


Let’s stop grading ourselves

on a scale meant for meat and eggs.