New Year's resolutions are not something I’ve excelled at in the past. I’m a champ at setting them, abiding by them for 12 months is where I seem to fall short. For the past three years I’ve set a reading resolution and shared it with my students. I thought a public declaration and 880 middle schoolers might motivate me to be more disciplined. I was wrong.
This year I thought about not sharing my resolution, even contemplating whether or not I wanted to set a goal for myself. I thought, “What type of role model am I as a librarian if I don’t stick to my reading resolution?”
The answer, when I thought deeply about it, is real.
In life, we fail. Some of us more than others. Yet as teachers we often feel that we have to be perfect, do things correctly, make no mistakes… What message are we sending if we never allow students to see how we handle failure? Shouldn’t we let them see that we too struggle, even fail, and that is how we learn?
Some of the best moments I’ve had with students this year have been while we were grappling with a problem and getting extremely frustrated. It surprised me that in situations when a student wanted to quit and I said, “OK, but I’m going to try and figure it out because it’s still bothering me” the student would dive back in. It brought home the point that modeling productive struggle is something I need to do more often.
So in sharing my resolution, I will also remember to share when keeping it is hard, how losing my footing will not mean giving up the race, how the failure is not in missing the goal - but in not attempting to try again.
As a teacher librarian in a 6-8 middle school, when I'm not dreaming up all sorts of tactics to get books into my students' hands, I am seeking new ways to harness technology to help them learn.
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