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Meaningful Mistakes


by Lily Burgess, 1st-2nd Grade Teacher

Each year a new class of kids comes together to form a new personality, a new vibe, a new community. Each year as fall rolls out its parade of colors and carved pumpkins give way to pumpkin pies, something magical is brewing in the classroom.

As new found comfort yields blossoming relationships and reliable routines, it is the essential risk-taking that finally creates the messy magic of mistakes! With the ripped off eraser head of a pencil or a frustrated friendship moment, the gift of mistakes is around us and we teachers are ready to problem solve, make plans and engage our students in some of the most powerful learning moments: those unscheduled opportunities for digging deep and reflecting on the values we all hold individually and together. With each stumble our gait levels to a steady pace and our community strengthens as we discover even more about ourselves. From friendship foibles in the hallway to klutzy catches on the field, each mistake we make offers rich and meaningful foundations to underpin our work in elementary school.