By: Leeland Hernandez & Noah House

Throughout the academic careers of many children, expectations have been set for them. This could be from parents, teachers, or any authoritative figure for that matter. However, the question is raised on whether or not the expectations, or the “bars” that have been set actually play a part in a child’s successes and the outcomes of their work, both in the short-term (school) and long-term (life).

In today’s society more than ever, expectations seem to be constantly put onto children. Speaking from personal experience, academic performance can practically shape our sense of self worth. Anything below an A can be deemed unsuccessful and deal a crushing blow to students that receive anything less because the bar has been set too high. Many children may feel this way all the way up until their senior year, and although it is good to set a goal of sorts for your children, it is extremely important to make sure your words not only resonate with your students and/or children, but more importantly that they’re well spoken and reasonable.

Having low expectations on the other hand, to an extent, could have an equally negative impact on their academic performance as well, due to it enabling slacking off, which by no means should the “norm”. Therefore, moderation and setting reasonable and attainable expectations needs to be the goal. It is important to remember that expectations in general are not inherently negative and designed to motivate people to strive for betterment.

In conclusion, although high expectations for students can act as a motivator, it can also act as a deterrent for work. Many become demotivated and feel an accelerated burnout whenever expectations are set but not met, and all it tends to do is make things worse overall. The setting of expectations itself is not inherently bad, but a balance should be found to ensure the success and happiness of children.