I’ve been thinking a lot about mistakes lately. Over my (relatively long) lifetime I have made so many of them that it’s hard to pick out the worst ones. I made some decisions and choices in my life that were incredibly uninformed, but they ended up pretty well – not at all the huge mistakes they could have been. There is something great about being so young that one doesn’t realize what could go wrong. There is a quote from Thomas Edison about making a thousand mistakes before he actually figured out what electricity was all about. The “Mindset” movement, driven by Carol Dweck, has caused educators everywhere to start telling kids that mistakes are to be celebrated – that we only learn when we make mistakes – and that we should enjoy failure, because it will lead us to success. Kids aren’t buying it. Kids don’t like to make mistakes, no matter what we tell them. You and I are not so fond of mistakes either.
I think that we need to teach our children there are different kinds of mistakes, and that the important thing to do is figure out why we made the mistake, learn from that and move on. If we make what some would call a “stretch mistake”. That one means we are trying something that we’re not sure we can do – that we are challenging ourselves to do something hard – so good for us! Now, if we just keep making the same stretch mistake, that’s not so good, because that means we’re not adjusting at all. If the mistakes we are making are “sloppy” mistakes, it’s important to recognize them for what they are. They are a result of a lack of focus, attention, or just trying to get by. We don’t want to make a habit of these sloppy mistakes, because they begin to reflect on us – they can create a self-image and an image for others that says we don’t care enough to give our best effort. Some of our children see all mistakes as dangerous or threatening. They worry that they will make a mistake – then when they do, they worry that someone else will point it out. They worry that a mistake means that they aren’t as good as they should be or as smart as they should be. If your child seems to be afraid to admit or examine a mistake, it might be a good time to help him label the mistake. Was it a sloppy one, or did it result from trying something new or challenging? If you can talk about some mistakes you’ve made – some in the sloppy category and some in the stretch category, your child will see that those mistakes don’t define or lessen you, as long as you learn from them.
I’m not sure we’re ready to “celebrate” our mistakes yet, but let’s at least talk about them and understand a little better why we make them. If we can demystify them for our children, then they will be more willing to take some risks, and face challenges, and they will be able to move on from their mistakes, knowing that mistakes are nothing more than one part of learning and growing.
“When you make a mistake there are three things you should do. Admit it. Learn from it. Move on from it.” Bear Bryant
15 Fourth Quarter Hot lunch ordering closes
16 Kindergarten and first grade to the Building Museum
Confessions for grades 2 - 4
17 Third quarter ends
Mass at noon
Drama Production – Alice in Wonderland – 7pm
18 Drama Production – Alice in Wonderland – 7pm
20 Stations of the Cross, 9:30am
22 Report Cards go home.
24 Mass at noon
27-30 Faith Knowledge Assessments for grades 3 – 8
28 Second grade to Franciscan Monastery
29 Pi Pizza Fundraiser, 5pm – 10pm
31 Mass at noon
3 Spring Uniforms!
Confessions, grades 5 – 8
4 Stations of the Cross, 1:30pm
6:30pm – Enrollment for First Holy Communion
5 Eighth grade Confirmation Retreat, 8:30am
6 Tag Day for grades 8 and 2
Fifth grade presents the Wax Museum of Historical Figures
7 Mass, 9am
10 Confessions for 5-8, 1:15pm
11 Stations of the Cross, 9:30am
13 Holy Thursday, Dismissal at 12:10pm No ASC
Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.