My current read is Lead Like a Pirate by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf. A concept discussed in this book is the power of celebrating approximations. As a coach, a leader and a believer in grace and growth, I whole-heartedly believe in this concept.
The idea is that we’re not looking for perfection, but rather growth towards a goal–a teacher that is reflective, has a growth mindset, asks questions and continually grows so that his/her students may grow. We celebrate small steps towards that.
As a coach, I’ve learned teachers are so hard on themselves. I appreciate and value the high standards, but I hope that I am proactive in sharing that the “small,” but powerful steps they take towards improving is worth huge celebrations.
Examples I’ve witnessed this year includes the following:
- When a teacher did less talking than the student in a reading conference and the student began to take ownership of their learning
- When a teacher allows choice in reading and student engagement sky rockets
- When a teacher uses her anecdotal notes as the guiding force for instruction.
- When a teacher builds relationships with kids over books
- When a student says to a teacher, “I now love reading!”
In none of these situations were the teachers delivering the “perfect” workshop model experience. That’s because it doesn’t exist. But, the small, but powerful steps teachers make towards improving their craft are beyond powerful in the lives of their students.
Let us celebrate those approximations and always honor the growth and craft teachers bring every day.