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mistakes, lots of mistakes

February 14, 2013

our students had a two-hour delay this morning.  the faculty, however, did not.  bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and licking our fingers of chocolate/pb cup residue, we filed into the upper school gymnasium at our usual 7:30 a.m. call time.  while the students were still nestled in their beds, we were learning about how we can be more effective and innovative teachers.  we watched a video of middle schoolers working on rube goldberg projects.  in case you’re not hip to the educational lingo, rube goldberg projects come in all shapes and forms but they’re basically a test of creativity and problem solving.  we had tasked our teenagers with building a 10-step machine that would pop a balloon.  remember the board game mouse trap?  yeah, it went something like that.  kids fastened toilet paper tubes to pullies to suspended plastic cups to desks and watched a marble click/clack it’s way through the maze until it ultimately popped out of a dangling funnel and fingers crossed popped the balloon.  it was all wildly suspenseful.

after we’d watched about 1,000 attempts to pop that silly balloon, the video cut to a gathering of the middle school students discussing what they’d learned with the principal.  he started talking about how the rube goldberg project was all about mistakes.  and that mistakes are ok.  and that we learn from mistakes.  and that he worries we don’t encourage students to make enough mistakes today.

mistakes you say?  well i’ve made plenty of those.  and then i got to thinking about valentine’s day.  and how i hate it.  mostly because i’m usually alone on the holiday.  mistakes and hearts and cupid’s arrow.  maybe this is my own little rube goldberg.  my own little 10-step machine with ping pong balls zinging and paper towel tubes suspended and a balloon just waiting to be burst.  it took those 7th-graders hundreds of tries to get it right.  and maybe it will take me just as many.

happy valentine’s day!  may your day be one of sticky fingers, zig-zagging marbles and mistakes.  or something like that…

One Comment leave one →
  1. notorious permalink
    February 14, 2013 5:39 pm

    Valentines Day……Ugh. Just remember, Notorious was dumped on Valentines Day many years ago by someone he dated for 3 years, but who remembers that sort of thing….. I did remember my current Valentine, Mrs. Notorious. —— Notorious…Go Badgers (basketball)

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