December 5, 2012

To do your best, do it again

Over and over I come back to the same conclusion in my teaching - students are trained to complete an assignment, then drop and run.

If I described it metaphorically, they would be running a race. It could be a sprint, like a timed test, or it could be a marathon, like a long term project. Either way, once they hit the finish, it's over. Whether they came in first or dead last, they can't take the race back, they can't change how they finished. Maybe the next race will be better, or worse, but this one is set in stone.

School should not work this way. Students should be traversing a long journey that has an end which is almost never in sight. We almost never know where our studies and our learning will take us. Sometimes we end up on the wrong path, we make a wrong turn, we trip and fall down, but that doesn't stop us. We always keep going, keep trying.

That's the ideal version. That is the education setting where wrong answers and mistakes are clues and guides that lead us toward the places that we are supposed to be moving, even if we don't know what that is yet.

So, if you want to do your best, then you need to be willing to do your worst and then try and try again.

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