So as you probably know lots of times teachers talk about a student that we have in common.
More often though we talk about the generalities of how education is today. Our common struggles and frustrations much like everyone else that has a career or a job.
The theme that comes up a lot is second chances...and third chances...and fourth chances. We are expected to hand a kid as many chances as a student needs in order to pass the particular test..or unit ...or class. We spend time doing retakes and regrading the tests and assignments if ..IF we can get that particular kid to do the retakes and second/third/fourth chance at all....this takes time...valuable planning and work time. And the overarching theory of "teach for mastery" (which is why we do this in the first place)...is not what's happening. There's a segment of my retakes who didn't study...or didn't want to work and know they have a second opportunity so they don't try. They just come back in for their 70 and walk on. 70's a "D" folks. Below average.
But truthfully that's not the most frustrating part of the whole dang thing...the most frustrating part is that they don't learn to fail.
What's that? Let them fail??? Horrors. We can't have that...not because I think the kids wouldn't have it or the parents (some) wouldn't have it...the pressure comes from up above...the numbers that show the community, the state, the powers that be that we are progressing towards some numerical goal might fall...that's what's unacceptable. That's why the pressure to do anything humanly possible to get these kids to pass is the going name of the game....and the heat is turned up so high.
But that comes at a price folks...a steep one.
What we haven't taught our children in this game is that can fail...and make it back.
Mike Tyson once said "Everyone has a plan until they get hit."
And these kids when they get hit ...and they will...how are they going to handle it? Will they get back up? Will they persist? Or will they define themselves by their obstacles and spiral downwards? Worst case scenario grinding themselves into little nubs, regretful of missed opportunities or even destroy themselves? I have had two kids nearly lost to depression in the past month because they can't find their way out...they have fallen down into a hole mentally and thank God someone was around to pull them out before a bad situation turned into a tragic one.
"It's how you react to adversity not the adversity itself." -Berardino
I have failed. I am a failure at certain endeavors.
More than once.
And I still think about those failures on occasion and feel the scars they left there...feel an ache like an old wound that never quite heals correctly...
I use that. I harness that to sharpen my focus...live more consciously...love the present with more passion.
I get to do that because I came back from failure. That fire comes from the subsequent successes after failure...those are some of the best and most life changing successes I claim.
I had folks around me to help me learn from my own choices...give me assistance and tell me basically.."yea you had your head up your ass on that one...and this is gonna sting but here's what you have to do to recover." They helped because they loved me...and they let me fail because they loved me too.
We are denying our kids that skill. We are retarding their growth and curbing one of the most powerful tools for living as a successful adult. That's what so frustrating about data driven education and education reform today..
Speaking of resilience...Ross is wondering where that semi went that ran over him. He's not feeling spectacular today. Some sort of reaction to something is causing him to be pretty sick to his stomach. So he didn't get to get all the fun tubes removed or walk the halls (faint in the halls). Bt we know that give him a little time and he'll feel better...he's gonna come through this and be stronger. In the past two weeks there's been a lot of things going on that have been pressured but we've come through all of them with lots of love from our family and friends and resilience. We just keep coming back. Like Crabgrass....and Dandelions.