During our first SAT class, I looked out the window. I saw a new student, Jeff, pick up a Learning Consultants sign that had fallen on the ground outside our Old Saybrook office. He put it back in place. He didn’t know anyone was watching. He simply did it because it was the right thing to do. During our next SAT class, Jeff saw that I was moving SAT books from my car to our Madison office. He offered to help.
In the same class, a boy that I will call “Jimmy” grumbled when he had to move his chair in order to let another student pass. Later, he whined when he had to move his stuff in order to let another student sit on adjacent empty chair.
These little things matter. Character is revealed. As would be expected, Jeff put in the work during SAT class and his scores shot up substantially. Jimmy put in halfhearted efforts. During the actual test, he told his mom that he just could not deal with the length of the test and gave up in the last few sections.
Character, not SAT scores, is the point. Good character leads to success.
For example, those who are in the position to hire high school students for summer jobs closely observe character.
Teens rarely understand that adults pick up character from small things. Moreover, since we have such limited windows from which to judge people, we often make evaluations based on minimal observation.
The Learning Consultants hires summer interns for our Connecticut offices. If Jeff had been coming for a summer internship interview and I had watched him pick up the sign, he would probably get the job.
We teach our children character. This character forges destiny.