Let’s do a little pretend psychological study. What thoughts come to mind when I say these words; school, prepare, SAT, success? What I know for certain is that what I would say today is vastly different from what I would have said even ten years ago. Often I find myself in situations that I could use common everyday words to describe my thinking, but it would almost be as if I were using a foreign language, because what I am trying to say is probably very different from what you are hearing. Confused yet?
Billy recently took the SAT test. I cannot even really believe I am saying that, but it is true. Truth be told, he did a fantastic job…but more than likely he failed. The first word I redefined was school. Traditional school past kindergarten didn’t work very well for Billy. I wish the teacher would have tried harder and been kinder, but honestly he was not ready for school as the way school was defined by his peers at that time. For us school, or at least the subjects, became the stage used to pull my little boy out of his own little world and engage in ours. What was being taught was truly irrelevant. Through the years I knew that when I spoke of school to my parent friends, I knew they really didn’t know what I was talking about.
When I say Billy did a fantastic job, but he more than likely failed, I am saying that looking through the lens of why he took the SAT, he did tremendously, superbly, and fantastically well! However, looking through the lens of how it is measured, and why most people take the SAT, that is another story. For me his success was measured by how well he did for every single step leading up to him being able to walk into the testing center, completely unaccommodated, and take the test. The score is measuring how well he answered questions. The score is unable to measure how hard he worked or what he is able to do outside of a test.
So where do we go from here? We wait for the score, and he will take it at least one other time as well as the ACT. Then he applies to college with not only his test scores but a million other things that paint a far clearer picture of my amazing little boy who fought his way out of his own little world to join ours. Bringing with him all the things that are uniquely him, fearfully and wonderfully made with a purpose. That is how I now define success…we are already there.