Please take a moment to read this article from Jessica Lahey writing in The Atlantic. It speaks to a major problem in our school community considering the pressure that students put on themselves to earn the best grades even if that is detrimental to their physical and emotional health. Moreover, I have a strong belief that this focus on “success” now actually leads to a lack of success in the future. One of my favorite mottos in class emerges on a regular basis: “Have a life.” I have uttered these words as a regular reminder that my students should ride their bikes, climb trees, watch movies, and make up silly games as often as possible. These moments of joy are the building blocks of imagination and lifelong skills far more important than earning an “A” on the last geometry quiz. We don’t have to sacrifice one for the other, so I hope that all students and parents will take a moment to reject the focus on short term success that sacrifices long term happiness. Being kind and brave comes from a source of confidence, balance, and joy. And, in my opinion, being kind and brave is more important than any other kind of success.