By Corey Krampen, MEd
Alumnus, College of Education
Students who are in need of repeating a grade early in their educational career oftentimes feel like a failure. While that may be true in this particular grade level, it does not mean that the student is a failure forever. How the student’s parents view this and how they convey their feelings to their child can be beneficial or detrimental. The student will feed off of the parents’ vibes.
In a perfect world, of course, none of us want our children to have to repeat a grade. However, if our viewpoint on this focuses on the positives rather than the setback, our children will be more inclined to use this event as a launch pad towards the rest of their career. The same holds true for the parents. If they choose to use this setback as a launching pad, their child will benefit.
Earlier in my career I spent time as a coach at the high school level. I coached basketball mainly, but I dipped my feet in a few other sports as well. I noticed that the majority of the best performing athletes were the oldest students in their class. Because of this, I decided to also look at other factors, such as educational achievement and levels of maturity.
All of these observations were made with no data to really support my conclusion. I simply put these findings in the back of my brain, and I feel that now is a good time to discuss them.
What I found was that students who were older than the majority of their classmates were oftentimes the natural leaders. In athletic terms, our captains were generally students who were older than everyone else on the team. This did not happen intentionally; however, most of the time, these were the individuals who the other students looked up to.
Socially, these students were older and more mature. These students, typically, spoke more thoughtfully and had a better understanding of what hard work meant.
Educationally, the older students seemed to be leaps and bounds ahead of their younger classmates. Obviously, this is not the case in 100% of the situations, but on average, the older students outperformed the younger ones in educational tasks.
Reflecting back on my own educational career, as a high school student, I remember that the students who I looked up to were older than me. Though many of them were actually in a higher grade, the thought process is the same. We naturally look up to those individuals who are older than us.
So, repeating a grade may benefit some students. It could even lead them to become natural leaders.
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More About Corey:
Corey Krampen is from La Porte, TX, a city located 25 miles southeast of Houston. He is a 2004 graduate of La Porte High School, where he was a member of many student organizations. He is a 2010 graduate of Texas Tech University with a degree in multi-disciplinary studies. He is a 2014 graduate of Grand Canyon University with a master’s degree in educational leadership.
Corey spent five years teaching high school special education and coaching basketball. He has been a part of revitalizing a struggling basketball program as well as ensuring a positive educational experience for students with special needs.
He is currently the district-wide transition teacher in Pasadena ISD, where his primary focus is to help students transition from their high school setting to their post-secondary setting.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.