Well, It's been a while since I've put words to a blog.... (Is that a new way of saying pen to paper?) Anyway, a few weeks ago, while outside enjoying the beautiful Iowa summer grilling hamburgers for supper, Kaiser, our four year old, was on his bike.
He was peddling back and forth in our driveway, making car noises like he was racing. He's figuring out how to go faster, use the brakes, turning, and sharing the "road" with his sister on her bike. Seeing him really enjoy the freedom of having a bike, being able to go fast and have something of his own really got me thinking...
Will his school be the same way? Will he feel like he owns his learning, or will it be totally teacher directed? Will he feel the excitement as he learns to put letters together to make words, or figures out what adding 2+2 is, or will it be just another task he's told how to do?
Are we doing this for all of our students? Are we providing environments where students own the learning, where it's okay to make mistakes? Kaiser has taken some falls and skinned his knees. He doesn't always want to get back up because it's hard or he's afraid to fall. We continue to encourage him to get up and try again. Is it okay to take risks in your school? Is failure the beginning or the end of learning?
Kaiser has the bravery to try something new without knowing if he will be successful. Isn't that how you want to view something new: try it; even if there is a possibility that you may fail, because you will just get back up and try again. When students and staff have the freedom to take risks, allowed to fail, to learn from their mistakes and really move forward, they will experience success.