Looking back on my career of 18 years, I have been pretty much right on with whom those students are. They usually are very gifted individuals, and driven to do their best from many different areas.
But does that necessarily correlate to success in LIFE?
They certainly do have an advantage... but what about the other 99% of the students? Are they not successful just because they didn't finish 1st or 2nd in overall scoring from their schools rigorous testing? Of course not.
I have seen many of my former students (who were not valedictorian or salutatorian material) ... succeed in being a great role model, succeed in being an awesome communicator, succeed in playing sports ... succeed in life.
Who knows what my second graders are going to do with their lives when they become adults. What I DO know is that I can help shape what they want to do now in our classroom so that they can learn from their successes and certainly learn from their missteps.
The biggest question that seems to be asked of kids has always been ... "What do you want to do when you grow up?"
I hope that I can help teach students that the answer should be ... "I want to be ME."
Not what someone else wants them to be.