Raise That Hand
There is a perception among students that if you are not 100% correct, it’s better to not even try.
This is understandable. School can be a competitive environment and we live in a culture driven to achieve high marks. Parents, teachers, school boards, and even advertisers continually preach that good marks are the key to success in life. It’s a message that demonstrates the importance of success but can also be detrimental to those who aren’t receiving high marks.
Instead, the message that we should send students is to try your best. Marks aren’t everything. Learning is what’s important and in the process of learning you may make mistakes. In fact, you will make mistakes.
We need to remind our students that it’s ok to have the wrong answer sometimes. Some of the greatest minds of our time had to fail several times before they were successful.
In his quest to find a route to India, Christopher Columbus found the Caribbean. He wasn’t the world’s best navigator, but the point here is that he tried. He didn’t give up.
Success comes from the attempt. It’s okay to be the student who puts her hand up to answer a question a hundred times and only be right once. It’s certainly better than never putting your hand up at all.