Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Heart of the Matter

This weekend I tweeted out my excitement for the latest project we would be joining in on.

A book, a generous author,  a blog and a world of students to connect with...what could be better?

I was speaking of the kick off to the "Not Perfect Hat Club Blog It" project (#NPHCBlogIt). You can check out the project here . And you SHOULD! The author Jenaia Morane has written a wonderful children's novel with a delightful dog named Newton as the main character and narrator of the story.

I was excited to have another means to connect my students with students around the world, to have a purpose for blogging, and I am always ready for a new book to read.

But what I didn't expect was the impact it would have on me, only two days in. Before we read the story the students were asked to brainstorm what words came to mind when they heard these two words: Not Perfect.

Here are some of my 2nd graders words: math, mess up, bad, wrong, horrible, mad, mean, not neat, try harder, work better, erasing, angry, clothes, glasses, writing and not great. These are just a only need a few to reveal these hearts and souls. Those words stung a bit, but today when those words turned into sentences on their blogs, my heart sunk, my soul heavy.

You can find their posts here Mrs. Stoufer's Student Blogs Their words are so critical of themselves. They are frustrated and see so many things they can't do.

2nd graders, already with this perception. It has been my goal to instill in them a growth mindset, to celebrate success, to have them love the process of learning. Reading their thoughts these last two days has fueled that goal. So much to undo from their hearts and minds already!

Which leaves me to question, where did this come from?

We are connecting with another 2nd grade class in Australia, Brian Host is the teacher. They are doing similar activities in their classroom. I saw a very different mindset from his students.
Here are some of their thoughts,

 I am definitely not perfect and I am really excited to now feel like I don't have to be perfect.
I am very happy knowing that I am not perfect and that's fine.
I am not perfect all the time, I make lots of mistakes in my life but I can learn from them.
get to learn how that everyone is not perfect and when you make a mistake you know what to do next time.
 We are all not perfect and not perfect is okay.
Not perfect means that everyone is broken, they are perfectly imperfect Jesus and God are the only ones that are perfect.
I think not perfect means that everyone's not the best at everything and this makes us unique.
I think not perfect means I don't have to be right. There's no right or wrong.
The word not perfect means that you are not perfect all the time but you are still yourself
I think that not perfect means everyone is not perfect, we all make mistakes and get it wrong but we can learn to be better.
I think that not perfect means no one is without fault.
l think what perfect means is that everyone isn't perfect and that's good because the world would be boring if we got things the first time.
I think we should do our best even though we are not perfect. 
Have confidence, never give up and be yourself

Not perfect means It doesn't matter if you don't get it wrong, it matters if you try. 

Is it me, or do you see a definite different mindset here? Are the thoughts of my students coming from our society, already? Or has Brian just done an amazing job with his students this year in presenting that growth mindset?

Whatever it is, I know I seek a solution. 

I am thankful for Jenaia, Brian and all the others I will connect with over the next five weeks. I am looking forward to the healing a book will bring and the positive change that will happen across the globe. Yet another reason why I love to be connected! 

1 comment:

  1. Terry, this growth mindset has been something we have been cultivating for a long time. It has become part of our class culture, the NPHC has given us a common vocabulary to enhance our school goals. I am excited to journey with you on this adventure but please be encouraged we are almost at the end of our teaching year where you are at the start and it has been a process with lots of support and encouragement from Jena and Marty.


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