Success Takes Time

October 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Everything in life is a lesson that, when used properly, can have large amounts of knowledge, confidence, and ability reaped from it.  The trick is finding out what that lesson is.  Yesterday, a three-year-old could not zip his own jacket.  Today, he can.  He understood how a zipper works but he often had trouble connecting the two halves of his jacket in order to zip it up.  I immediately wanted to simply help him zip his jacket.  I wanted to do it for him because he was struggling so much.  He desperately wanted his jacket zipped so that he could go outside.  When frustration set in, that’s when I stepped in but I refused to do it for him.

Instead, I convinced him that with more practice, he could do it for himself.  I explained to him what he needed to do but I did not touch the zipper.  Eventually, he got it, zipped the jacket all the way up, and had the biggest grin a three-year-old can make.

He never took his jacket off for the rest of the day.  Routinely, he would unzip it just so he can zip it again.  I’ve never seen a young man so proud of himself.  It was such a practical exercise that taught so much more than how to zip a jacket.

Kids want to learn, as does everybody.  They just want to learn things that are meaningful to them.  Every student is different and we need to celebrate that and foster the differences that makes each child so beautiful.  If we can engage them in something they feel is important, their lives will be enriched because they will be completely engaged even when frustration begins to take over.  This student was given the opportunity to learn a practical lesson but he learned so much more: confidence, persistence, and, finally, he learned that failure doesn’t prevent success but is merely a minute obstacle to it.

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