Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mistakes Are OK

Mistakes Are OK

Just as I have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying in any form, I also have a zero-tolerance policy for any type of humor based on mistakes, unless the person who has made the mistake laughs at himself or herself (which is a tricky distinction). I make it clear to the children that mistakes are an integral, necessary part of learning; that I make mistakes, as do all adults and children; and that those mistakes help us grow and learn. When the children get to the point where they realize mistakes are OK and accepted, they are much more willing to take chances. Putting oneself out on a limb to take an academic risk, whether in front of peers, in front of the teacher, or privately in one's own work, is where the true learning happens! I know I have achieved my goal of creating an accepting learning culture when I see risk taking.
Ann Card, as quoted in Teaching Boys Who Struggle in School by Kathleen Palmer Cleveland, page 82

Thursday, May 4, 2017

What I Wish I Could Hear

You are good enough. I love you just the way you are. Yes, maybe you aren't as smart as her, or as good-looking as him, or as well-liked as so-and-so, but that's OK. I didn't create you to be like them. You are a precious, unique, one-of-a-kind child of God. If there are parts of you you don't like, or behaviors that cause you or others pain, I will love you and work with you through those things. Maybe you can change or improve them, and through your efforts you will learn more about yourself. You may find that some things you thought were barriers or limitations were actually only in your mind. And you may encounter other barriers and limitations in yourself that you didn't know were there, which is a humbling process, one that can help you be more understanding of and compassionate towards others. What personal limitations, strengths, flaws, and talents you have or don't have, and can change or ultimately cannot change - is what you are here in mortality to learn and experience. But before, after, during, and through all of it, the watchword is love - for yourself and for others. This includes compassion, patience, effort, sacrifice, balance, persistence, and surrender.