I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday. You can't win if you don't show up!
I have talked before about the student book clubs I facilitate for. It is an idea that comes from my district-all the schools implement it in different ways but there are close to 100 schools who participate. They give us a list of books that we read throughout the year and then they hold a contest in the spring where the kids have to identify books by quotes given from them. It's extremely difficult to remember so many details-they are reading over 35 books and the question can be as simple as "then the crowd laughed" and they have to write down the title of the book. The competition was always secondary to my main goal of having book clubs on my campus-which is hopefully helping to instill a passion for reading to the kiddos. I love hearing them share opinions of stories and characters. They will even find other books to read on their own by authors they like-"did you know she wrote other books?!".
Yesterday we had our district competition and going into it I knew the kids hadn't studied as much as they should have. They weren't too successful in our practices and honestly I considered not participating after all. But.... I thought the competition would be a good experience for them regardless-so we went. We were supposed to compete in one of the preliminary rounds against 8 other schools. A revised schedule was sent that it was down to 4. Today we were the only ones to show up. Winning by default feels a little like a hollow victory, but it was exciting to be going to the finals! A definite first for our campus. I smiled on the whole drive back to campus-just couldn't believe it! Sometimes just having the courage to show up is a win in itself!
I always try to prepare them for any outcome-I know sometimes students have gotten upset that we didn't win. I mean we never win. We are up against schools who take the competition part much more seriously than we do. So I was telling them that in our last practice-"I just want you to be ok if we don't win, I mean we probably won't win". One of my students said "we need to think positive-you never know what could happen".
And she was absolutely right!