The other day a few art students came by to ask what vinyl quotes I would like on my walls. I went with Stephen King and “Books are a Uniquely Portable Magic”. I love the quote and am excited to have it above my door. As the kids were putting it up a letter got mangled and looks a little odd and well it most certainly is not straight. As I look up from my desk at the slightly curved sentence I have to just chuckle at how much I enjoy this little quote. Crooked line, crinkled U and all. It is a great example to me that things do not need to be perfect.
I have had a few instances this week were students are almost at a panic over grades. I keep telling them I am not worried about their grades I am worried about their growth but that mindset shift is difficult for a group of kids who have come up through a system that only celebrates final achievement with little to no reflection on the journey.
I sat down today in my book club groups just to listen and observe and some of the statements made were awesome, the questions asked the discussions had all made me smile because I was really quite nervous. I see these Pintrest reading groups or all these cute instagrams of book clubs and well, that is not my room. My room is a bit crooked to. Some are not as in to the conversations, some prefer to just talk and not write. Some struggle to figure out questions even with a prompt sheet. It is fun watching them help each other figure it out. Their own experiences with the text on display. Perfection is not the goal, progress is.
I keep finding myself going back to this idea that Dr.Mary shared about being an expert. She does not like the term because the idea of expert implies we know it all, that we have no room to grow. Like Mary I don’t ever want to be finished growing, I want to learn to improve each day and each week. I want my students to know that we can be a little crooked sometimes and that it is ok, we are still great. When we look at the journey not just the finish line it should help us to see the bigger picture, the whole student. Going a little off track and then finding our way shows learning, maybe even more, then if we walk that straight line all the time. I am ok with being a bit crooked sometimes. It makes the journey a bit more unique. I am hoping to help my students to adopt this same idea.
It is ok to not be perfect.