A little over a year ago I started to run. I have always liked running but saw myself as a sprinter never a long distance runner. In fact, last year I barely could do 5km in 1 hour. I would wheeze, cough and walk half the distance. As the year progressed I got myself to 10km in 1 hour and felt very proud of my accomplishments. I had a lot of friends tell me hey your ready for a 1/2 marathon and I would just laugh in their face. “Me, do a half? Yeah, right!” Well as of May 19th I can no longer say that! In fact, I sort of crushed that comment by completing my first half marathon in 1 hour and 38mins.
But this post really isn’t about the running but more about what I learned that day. At the 15km mark, my hamstring started to tighten and my brain started to say “STOP”. I was physically done but part of me just said no keep going and so I did. It was a grind but I was determined to finish and finish I did. It reminded me of what I tell my students, a little disequilibrium goes a long way. When we are in that moment of frustration and exasperation we learn so much more about ourselves. The problem is I think we as adults have forgotten what it is like to be in those moments. Now I am not implying we don’t have our moments but I think they are a lot less than when we were children.
As an adult, we have had many experiences that formulate the sum of our learning and decisions but for a child, they have a lot less. I think we often forget what it is like to be frustrated and therefore we jump right in. I am also sure there is some brain science behind adults fully form logic versus kids but all in all we have to remember what it is like to be a kid. To wonder, to explore, to question and to make mistakes. The problem we have as adults is we forgot what struggle is like and so have a hard time relating to our students making those mistakes. Running this half has reminded me how important struggle is and just how important it is to let me own students and children struggle.
So as we head into next year I encourage you to think about “Grit” and how are you purposefully planning this in your classroom. Any ideas please share.
Also if you want to share, some of your most recent struggles? Love to hear them.