In today’s assembly we added another ingredient to our recipe for a happy and successful school adventure: making mistakes. We learnt that mistakes are ‘magical’ because they help us learn so much. I told the children that I have probably made millions of mistakes in my life and continue to make at least one or two every day. I also told them that sometimes this can make me feel frustrated and grumpy and want to ‘give up’ but then I remember that if I do that I won’t be ‘exercising my brain’ and then won’t ‘grow clever’.
It is so important that our children learn the value of mistakes and that they know adults make them too. As teachers we can have such a powerful influence of showing the children in our care that we too can make the wrong decision, or forget things or admit that we ‘don’t know’ the answer to every question but that it is ok. We can also show them through our words and actions how we overcome the mistakes we make so we learn from them. It is true that many very young children believe wholeheartedly that their teachers know everything and that they really do ‘have eyes in the back of their head’; that we are all as omniscient as Mary Poppins. As much as it is a lovely feeling to be held in such high esteem it is an even lovelier feeling to know that by dispelling this myth we are laying the foundations of honesty, perseverance, resilience and curiosity.