What makes 3rd grade so important?

This teacher describes third grade as a “make or break” year for kids’ academic self-esteem. Learn how to make sure your child survives this vulnerable stage.

As a third grade teacher, she says parents should be on the lookout for kids categorizing themselves as smart versus not smart and being hyperaware of where they fit in, because when kids label themselves it can hurt their self-image and their academic well-being in the long run.

Video transcript

“I see that third grade is a make or break year for students academically and socially because there’s a lot of assessments that starts off at this grade. There is, I do see a lot of my students start putting themselves in categories, whether or not they feel smart or not smart. Judging themselves and being more critical about who they are, where they fit in. If they’re feeling as if they’re incapable or not intelligent, then it can hinder their progress in the long run. And so that’s why, I think, a lot of times in third grade, we try not to keep students back to repeat the grade. We try to give them as much support as we can because it can affect their social-emotional being, and also affect their academics as well in the long run. We try to make sure that they still have the love for learning and they’re really excited about being in school.”

Learn more about your third grader’s learning and development this year, including:

About the author