Why on Earth would anyone do a Google Hangout with students at 7 am? Well, before you begin jumping on my case about the fact that students need more sleep and that their optimal thinking times are later in the morning, let me explain. First, know that the class I did the Google Hangout with was in a different time zone than me. Second, I was the one in the 7 am time zone. Not them. It was 9 am where they were.
The class I had the honor of speaking with, not to, was none other than Mrs. Jones' 5th grade Merton Elementary students. Thank you Principal Jay Posick for allowing me the opportunity to interact with such an amazing group of youngsters. We had a blast!
I got to share with them the motivation behind my My Bad radio program. While it is a story that I have told many times, it is one that I always enjoy telling. And it is one that I hope I have the opportunity to tell many more times.
After Mrs. Jones' class politely listened to me tell my story and talk about the power of sharing mistakes, something quite wonderful took place. One by one. Her students came to the front of the room, introduced themselves and shared a mistake of their own. What was most powerful was the fact that the mistakes that were shared were ones that many others in the room had made too.
As the sharing continued it became obvious to me that not only was this an amazing group of kids, but they were/are led by an amazing teacher. Creating an environment in which children feel safe sharing their mistakes with their peers is not easy. Bravo Heidi Jones!
I would have loved to have spent more time with her class. Maybe someday I will. But, they had to move on with their day and I had an 8 am conference session to attend. We said our goodbyes and then Heidi had her kids do something I had never seen before. Each kid came to the front of the room, and one by one, they each gave me a high five or a fist bump. That made my day! Heck it made my week!
As I am on a flight now heading back to the east coast I can't help but think about how important it is that we work to create a culture in which it is okay to share mistakes. I was able to witness firsthand just how powerful this can be. It is important for students and it is important for adults to know that they are not alone. To know that they it is okay to make mistakes. And to know that we all bounce back.
That was the most fun I have had at 7 am in a long time.
Thank you Mrs. Jones' class.
The sooner we start sharing our imperfections with the people we serve and the people we love, the sooner they will stop expecting to be perfect.
Click the link below to listen to mistakes made by an amazing group of people.