I have this awesome student in one of my senior classes. She is a bright, kind, and conscientious young lady who is great at participating in class, and she led an awesome EdCafe last term. However, last term she also struggled with her writing, and ultimately earned a C+ for term 2. Her mom talked to me about how disappointed both of them were, but said her daughter was putting everything she had into the paper that was due today, determined to do well. The student had also conferenced with me the day before, and really worked to make sure she understood the revisions I was asking her to make.
They turned their papers in today, and since the conversation with the mother was still on my mind, I decided to grade the girl's paper while the students worked quietly on an assignment. Once school ended, I called her over and showed her the B+ grade she had earned. She bounced with happiness, saying with a big smile on her face that she was going to go tell her mom.
This is what happens when students don't give up, when they turn their disappointment into determination, when they choose to learn from their mistakes. The grade may not have been an A, but that's irrelevant--she had made such a great improvement over her last essay and demonstrated that she had truly learned something, so it was a victory.