Sunday, January 15
Tomorrow is a big day! My students return tomorrow from Christmas break! I'm so excited to see them all and hear about their vacations. I have new students which means new people with new stories to hear. I love people and their stories.
I think if you asked my students what was important to me they would tell you that working to your potential is hugely important. I encourage it in my students and expect it out of my children- with varying degrees of success. I have one student in particular, and one child in particular, that I push harder than the rest because I believe they have greater potential. And, I see them doing less than their best. That drives me crazy.
I think it bothers me most because I feel like I was that student. Grades came too easily for me. I didn't have to work for them. I never learned to struggle through an assignment. I wish I would have learned that determination because there are times that I wish I could push through tough things- like learning Spanish. I have no explanation for my inability to really master the language. It makes no sense, but I've struggled for the past 6 years. My Spanish, without question, has gotten worse. How does that even happen? Tonight's blog isn't about my regret, though. It's about watching my child work hard. And the joy that it brought me.
Camilla is in a gifted program at school. To be honest, I didn't realize that she should be in the program. She was little when we home schooled. I knew she was good at math, but she isn't the stereotypical "smart kid" who wants to take apart the vacuum and analyze the parts. She isn't a bookworm reader or interested in figuring out Latin. She wants to play with her sister, snuggle on the couch, and go on errands. But, when we started school this fall, all Camilla could talk about was the gifted program. It was her singular focus, and much to her pleasure, she got in. When we went to the meeting that would let us know her test results, I was a nervous wreck. But, she got in, and she hasn't looked back.
Each month, the students are given a code to figure out. She didn't figure out the last code, and there aren't words to describe her frustration. She came home with a new code last week, and I knew she had to solve it. It's now 8:44. That's 45 minutes past her bedtime (which is saying a lot for this sleeping beauty). She's been working the code since 5:00. She's almost done except I think there might be a typo. An extra space that shouldn't be there. I've told her to submit what she has, but she can't accept that. She believes that her teacher wouldn't have made a mistake (she- like Chloe- is everyone's champion)
So, she continues to happily toil away. She will finish tonight, and she'll enjoy the satisfaction that comes from working hard to accomplish her goals. I'm not sure there's a better lesson for a 5th grader to learn. I'm always proud of her, but tonight, I'm feeling a little more impressed. May all my students (and I) give our best to everything we attempt. And may we enjoy the satisfaction of successful completion.
Enjoy your week!