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Jamie, a fellow Elementary Literacy Specialist, was with me at a literacy training and of course we were SO excited to participate in an activity that would get us up and moving!
"Yank Me" was the game that we had to master; and while Jamie had made it a point to show off her mastery skills, it didn't all pan out once the cameras were rolling!
My initial reaction to Jamie wasn't to highlight her failed attempt. Instead, we giggled and quipped quickly to our audience with "and that's how NOT to do it." Needless to say, Jamie performed her next demonstration flawlessly!
This experience, though, had me wondering what do teachers really highlight in their classrooms?
Do we highlight and recognize the small successes? Do we appreciate the attempts made towards the learning? Do we celebrate the failures as another opportunity to learn? Or are we succumbed to the pressures of the what strips the beauty of true learning and true teaching?
So I try to always keep in mind, when the "camera rolls" on my turf (administrative walk-thrus, parent observations, collegial observations etc.), that my job is to direct the attention towards ALL students and their varied stages of learning that is grounded in their critical conversations. Most importantly, I aim to shed light on those precious moments where one is able to witness the process that leads to "getting it right"-sheer perseverance! The process of learning is NEVER a one shot deal. The learning process is forgiving...we get second chances, third chances or as many chances as we need to "get it right".
Mr. Khan hits the learning process right on the nail with his article, "The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart"-a great reminder to appreciate the "growing minds" of each and every one of our students. And in the end, THAT's what matters most- whether the cameras are rolling or not.