Day 21 (of 187) the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat ….. as in sports so in classes?
Today we finished off our IEP meetings with parents. Focusing on some more personalized learning journeys for our learners….also on the first of major league baseballs national league wild card game which had me make some weird connections….
Firstly, in a game driven by statistics (which helped create the whole fantasy-sports industry) after 162 games….there were two ties – in two different divisions the first place and wild card teams had the same record. (This only further makes me distrust %s as the end all and be all because so often numbers aren’t enough).
So – they needed tiebreakers. But the loser wasn’t done…they had to get ready to play again tonight. Because the wild card game is a “best of one” series. The ultimate in summative assessment with a redo…..that’s right, even in real life there are chances to try again.
But even then, there are winners and losers – and for very happy ending there are an equal number of heartbreaks. And if you think its just a game – you’ve never lived the experience. And in school – we want every student to feel like a winner each and every day….but we know that there are many struggles our students undergo each day that sometimes “being a learner” is not the most important thing… and these meetings are needed to ensure that we can figure out what the most important thing for the learner and the family actually is (and so often it is not “academic excellence”).
And having been on various sides of the table during these meetings I sometimes worry how everyone feels – are they feeling like they hit a walkoff home run in extra innings or watched a final strike fly by and wonder what would’ve happened if you swung….. sometimes we get to focus on successes, but we are always planning for what’s next… these meetings are not about winning and losing in the traditional sense – there is not just “one” pathway to be successful….and indeed it takes a team around the individual to help accomplish that “win” …..
And is a “win” the ultimate goal or is “being there” sometimes enough? Because I know some want school to be like a World Series victory – a lot of work with a fantastic result….but at the same time, while 32 teams start, there can only be one winner. And in a class some can find “simply being in the classroom” to be an amazing accomplishment.
Because “winning” isn’t the same to everyone. And individual success is not always tied to team accomplishments. Both in sports and in the school.
To an outsider, it can look like “just a game” (and yes, there is a “game of school” that can be played) but when you’re “in the game” whether on the field or on the classroom, only you know the fight that happens every day – and while some days are great….
sometimes the visiting team wins…. (this time!)