When was the last time you told your child to “Just figure it out.”? Do parents say that anymore? Teachers rarely do. We have gotten so protective of our children’s egos that we are afraid to let them stumble, struggle, fail and have to try again. Society’s mandate that a child’s self-image must be protected at all costs has permeated everything we do. If a child answers a question wrong, we are afraid to say, “wrong” and give someone else a chance to answer correctly. If Johnny brings home a 70% on a test the first thing that occurs is Johnny says “The teacher failed me.”, and the second thing that happens is his mom reviews all the questions to see if they were tricky or if they were on the study guide. If a coach schedules basketball practice at an inconvenient time, or at a time when a child has another activity he wants to attend, then it’s the coach’s fault for interfering with our plans, so we just skip practice. If you have ever been a CYO coach, you know that many parents actually think that there is nothing you would rather do than try to coach their children, even when their children show up to half the practices and wear blue jeans to the game when they can’t find their gym shorts.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, spent $100 million of his own money in an attempt to create a new rocket launcher. (There is likely a better term for this, but you get the idea.) The first launch failed. The second and third launches failed, and in 2008 with only enough money left for one more launch, the launch succeeded. SpaceX was offered a $1.6 billion contract to make deliveries into space by NASA. I’m pretty sure Elon Musk did not blame his failures on someone else, and it’s unlikely he made excuses to anyone, not even his mother. I’m pretty sure he didn’t just give half an effort to those first three launches. I’m also pretty sure that Elon Musk felt amazing when he “figured it out”.
If we could eliminate the word “fine” from our vocabularies in the next six months, would our children have a better understanding of the need to work harder? Would they have an opportunity to do something really well, because we refused to say that a half-hearted effort or a mediocre grade that resulted from little or no study was “fine”? If we told children to figure it out - how to get more playing time on the team, how to get a better grade on the test, how to commit to an activity, and stick with the commitment even when it isn’t fun anymore - would they develop the fortitude and the perseverance that we know they will need when faced with real challenges in their lives? I wish we could try it and find out.
“Much of success is showing up, grinding away at the hard parts in a deep focused way, and staying with it by practicing, practicing, practicing..”
Dates to Remember:
5 First Friday Mass, 9:00 am
10 HSA Board Meeting, 7:00 pm
12 Mass at 9:00 am
Half day dismissal at 12:10pm
15 Martin Luther King Day, NO SCHOOL
18 Career Day presentations, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
19 Mass at Noon
End of 2nd Qtr.
Youth Mass for Life, 7:00 am
24 Report Cards
26 Mass at Noon
Pizza Bingo, 7:00 pm
28 Catholic Schools Week Mass, 9:00 am
29 Middle School Science Fair, 6:00 pm
30 Open House, 9:30 am-11:30 am, 1:00 pm-2:30pm
31 Faculty Appreciation Lunch, 11:30 am-1:00 pm
Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.