I am excited to meet my new class. I'm reminding myself they are just second graders still and I should not scare them too much -- I can be loud and a bit on the sarcastic side! I feel super prepared and completely unprepared at the same time. I wasn't sure that could even be so. It can. I can't wait to see the new clay I get to help mold and model. Connection. That's the only thing they really need from me tomorrow. To connect. Without that connection, all the "core" we give them goes nowhere.
Tonight I remember one of my favorite expressions; You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. BUT you can salt his oats and run him hard! We continue to salt their oats and run them hard. Somehow in between, we give them love, safety, laughter, joy, gratitude, confidence, and on and on. But the one most important things we give them, in my opinion, is the safety to try new things, fail at them, learn from them, and then try again.
The following quote from Carol Dweck's, Mindset may be the pinnacle of what I strive for my son and from my students every day. It's a lofty challenge. It's the most worthwhile and satisfying challenge ever:
"If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence. This may be especially important for children with learning disabilities. Often for them it is not sheer effort that works but finding the right strategy (176-8)."