Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Smarts or Friends

focusYesterday I had a friend come visit with her daughter who is in 7th grade and my friend wanted my opinion as a teacher. Which is more important: Smarts or Friends?

My friend is worried that her daughter is making enough friends and learning social skills. She is worried that her daughter is spending too much time with books and being solitary outside of the swim team that she is on.

Meanwhile, her daughter tells me that she likes to read (She is reading The Three Musketeers) and believes that she needs to concentrate on being smart. She thinks that smart people can learn to be social but social people can’t learn to be smart.

I felt that the important thing for this young lady was balance.

I feel honing your intelligence is always important but not to where it isn’t the only thing in your life. It is good to concentrate on getting good grades and learning important information. It is good to keep your focus on learning when in the classroom.

Yet, learning social skills can only be learned when you interact with your peers. That is when we learn acceptable behavior in society with our parent’s guidance.

Let’s face it, middle school age is a tough time for boys and girls. Everything seems so difficult when your hormones are raging and everything is so confusing. It is hard to determine right from wrong when you are facing peer pressure.

I’m not sure if my young friend is having difficulties with making friends and hiding behind her “smarts” as an excuse.

I explained to her that when filling out a college application that most admissions officers look to see if the applicant is well balanced. They don’t want someone who just has good grades but are looking to see what extracurricular activities this person is involved in. It might be a sport or a volunteer activity or some other type that involves teamwork and collaboration.

So, I’m not sure I told either one what they wanted to hear. Which do you think is more important and why? Please share.

Image: 'I so need to FOCUS a bit+more+on+the+simple+things+in+life~EXPLORED+[+Way+over+10,000+Views+thanks+everyone+]'
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1 comment:

Sioux said...

I think you're right, Pat. Balance is important. Yesterday I was in a workshop and they talked about how Asian students outperform every other group of students, when it comes to academic work. And yet Asian girls are committing suicide at horrific rates between the ages of 13-17. So, great intellectual gains are made...but at what cost?