Recently, I began trying to run. This is very new for me, and therefore still quite scary. I have wanted to do this for quite some time, but never crossed the threshold from walking to a quicker pace. When I tried it out for the first time, I was excited and nervous. It felt great, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep going for very long. Today, I surprised myself and was able to run twice the amount of time compared to that first day. I raised my hands in the air as if I had just completed a marathon. It was my personal best.
At this point in time, it didn’t matter that I knew other runners who could actually complete marathons. It didn’t matter that my face was a shade between pink & purple. The most phenomenal athlete could have walked in the room and I wouldn’t have been intimidated at all. I was thrilled to improve.
Can we encourage our students to celebrate and enjoy their personal bests? What happens when they are able to grasp an idea, a technique or theory? What happens when they have a lightbulb moment and they understand something new?
It’s so hard for some students to enjoy their own achievements when they’re busy comparing themselves to others. This year, I hope to find more ways to help students focus on their own learning, their needs and their successes. Then, we can celebrate together!