One of the things my students find hardest is when they themselves make mistakes. Almost all of my students are perfectionists; they have higher expectations of themselves than anyone else in the room. And there is nothing harder than failing to meet your own expectations.
We talk a lot about mistakes and why mistakes are a good thing in our room. Our praise is never higher than when someone has made a mistake but stays calm, unless that is, when they’ve made a mistake, had a meltdown and still been brave enough to go back and try again. But even with lots of encouragement and lots of praise mistakes are still hard.
I remember a while ago now going out to see a student in another setting whose teacher was incensed that that he had threatened to kill her. He hadn’t meant it. He was in fact a lovely boy…
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