I’ve had several of these moments in the past two weeks and it reminded me how important it is to celebrate the small successes, not just the large ones, and that tiny steps toward growth are just as important as big ones.
When a student stops in to ask for help on an assignment that is a perfect match for a strategy we’ve been working on for weeks and then asks for help with it–even if he’s not employing the strategy independently or hasn’t really tried to use it–that’s a success.
When a teacher who has been resistant to working with me on differentiation invites me into her classroom “just to see a bit”, that’s a success.
When a student chooses to showcase a tiny change she’s noticed in her writing in her portfolio, that’s a success.
When a student writes down his homework in his planner (even if he doesn’t get it done), that’s a success.
When a grad student who seems to have been ignoring feedback on lessons makes one small change that shows she’s starting to get it, that’s a success.
Sometimes teaching can be really overwhelming, especially when you’re teaching students who struggle. Growing olive trees is hard work. You care for them, and you try to provide the right climate and the right food, but it could be a long time before they bear fruit. When we notice the tiny successes in our students, those small, but important, steps forward, we notice our students and their efforts. When we notice those tiny steps, we’re reminded that when we acknowledge tiny successes, they can feel like huge leaps forward.
What tiny successes have you seen recently?