Having just potty trained(training: don’t want to jinx it) my 2.5 year old my wife made a comment that I think is relevant to the classroom. As we were going through the process of potty training we gave our daughter lots of water to drink. My wife made the following comment, “We want to give her ample opportunities to be successful.” That statement has stuck with me and of course triggered my classroom brain.
In your classrooms do your students have ample opportunities to experience success? If they fail, and they should fail, so they can learn how to pick themselves back up and do it better next time, is there another chance around the corner to get it right? Or, do you have to move on to something else? How can we teach so they have multiple chances to succeed? This part requires some reflection and changing of old practices and styles we may like and grown accustomed to. I know teachers feel pressure to race through curriculum, scope and sequence orwhatever. The lessons that lie on the other end of a successful endeavor outweigh the need to move on. Think of the attitude of a student who has tasted success in your classroom. Next time are they more likely to step up to the plate or shrink away from an opportunity. You can imapct the attitude/outlook/mindset of a kid with just a little investment in their success.