Recently, as I was teaching in my grade 2 classroom, I was reminded of how hard it is sometimes when things just dont seem to work. The buildup of frustration and anxiety is tough and nerve-racking. My 7 year old student broke down in class and said that he could not do it. This particular boy expressed that he was not like the others and that he never does well. Hearing this made me tear and empathize for him, as not only do I know what failure feels like, but also I know how difficult it is to compare yourself to others. In that moment, I sat near him and calmed him down. The next thing I did was have a very “grown-up” discussion with my munchkins about the many definitions of success. I was able to share some of my own experiences and teach my students that efforts are more important than result. I told them that at times your failures will teach you way more than your successes. They seemed to understand an important notion and one I strongly believe in: failing is part of the road to success and efforts are worth way more than result.
After this teaching moment, I remembered so many moments where I felt so uncertain and fearful of the upcoming challenges. Until today, I have these moments. Like everyone, I have my goals and still have not accomplished them all and these go hand in hand with a certain fear of the unknown. However, as I overcome them one step at a time, I recognize that my efforts will always define my success and not the result. How many times did I say I couldn’t and I did. I couldn’t and I did is the result of practically all of my successes.
Kids, adults; we all struggle. It’s part of life and it’s part of living. Reality is that life is good and so difficult all at once and that everyday is a new day for you to try and be who you want to be. I said I couldn’t and I did. Now im trying to say I can and I will.
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