It is Friday evening and I am feeling down and disappointed. You see, I applied to be part of the Google Teacher Academy that is coming to Sydney in April. And I, along with many other amazing educators was not successful. Now please don’t get me wrong, this post will not be a rant about the how and why of I was not chosen. I am deeply disappointed but I will move on, I will find other ways to learn and grow as a teacher.
Instead I am trying to use this situation to learn from and reflect on. In particular I have been thinking how do we as teachers help, guide and assist our students to deal with such disappointments?
The sport staff at my school tell me that every year the interference from parents gets worse, that it gets harder and harder to deal with parents who are deeply disappointed and even angry when their children do not make the ‘A’ team in everything. I too have had parents come to me anxious and upset when their students were not made school captain, or performed badly on an important national test.
Last year one of the key words for our year group was resilience. In class we talked a lot about developing resilience but whether we actually helped our students learn it, is hard to measure. Without deliberately causing disappointment how can we teach our students and families to become more resilient? To realise that not everything in life can go their way, all the time.
Pernille Ripp wrote a reflective post last year on her pain at missing out on an edublogs award. She was not complaining about missing out but merely pointing out how disappointing any award ceremony is for those who miss out. Pernille is a teacher who dislikes awards in her classroom and reading her post I really understood her perspective. Yet as I write this I cannot help but feel that it is only by missing out sometimes, by not getting the award, or not winning the prize, or by not making the team, can our students and their families ever truly learn the resilience they will need in life.
And as for me? I will have to show resilience when reading of those more successful that me on twitter tonight. You see I was really, really hoping I could go. I had planned how Google would be my focus this year. And now I will need to find something else.
Luckily for me, this afternoon I also read this tweet.
@deangroom If you didn’t make #gtasyd, come play with virtual worlds and games. No limits, no rejections. A lot less typing.
And that reminded me, that joining and taking the training for Quest Atlantis was also on my ‘to-do- list for this year. So now I have no excuse for not getting on with it!