Who is defining “student success”?

    I read this short little article on the definition of success, and I liked the thinking:

    Success isn’t about how much money you’ve got in your bank account
    Success isn’t about how much money you spend on a Saturday night
    Success isn’t about how big your residence is
    Success isn’t about wearing high-end clothes
    Success isn’t about using an iPhone
    Success isn’t about driving a Mercedes

    Success according to me is accomplishing your goal
    Be it a small goal or a big goal.

    The emphasis on the word “your” is mine, not the author’s.  Why it stuck out to me was more and more in education, are we helping students define their goals, or are outside sources defining what success is for them?
    Think about it…how often in school is “success” deemed by how you compare to others, not how you have focused on your own goal.
    In the shift from focusing on empowerment in schools, not only engagement, how truly empowered are we in being successful based on someone else’s standards?
    This is a great quote on the idea of “success”:

    How determined would one be to work towards someone else’s goal?  And if students aren’t in on the conversation on what “success” means to them, the reality is sometimes they could feel like a failure even though they have met the targets of someone else.
    Students need to define what success truly means to them, not just us.


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