What My 2nd Grader Taught Me About Trying

Yesterday I had the opportunity to join my daughter at her school for Family Hour of Code Night.  We were given the option of several different breakout sessions that would allow us to experience some different aspects of coding.  I was impressed as my 2nd grader got right to work.  She knew what she wanted the results to be and as she worked on her block coding she was faced with problems.  I wanted to jump in and help her with all of the problems she was having, but she was determined to do it on her own.  She wanted to show me that she could overcome the issues.  She wasn't frustrated when something didn't work, but was rather eager to make sure that she could try and try and try again to solve the problems that she was facing.  I was impressed that she wasn't worried about making mistakes, but rather finding a solution to her problem.  

The next activity we attended was a BreakoutEDU session.  She had participated in a one other BreakoutEDU activity at her school and had so much fun that she wanted to share with me as well.  It was fantastic to see her look at puzzles with open arms!  She wanted so much to try and figure it out and she knew that along the way she would fail.  She was constantly reassuring me that it was ok to fail.  We could keep trying to solve the problems as they arose and that everything would be ok.  We worked hard at solving the puzzles and we eventually were able to solve all of the puzzles.  It took a team effort and it took perserverance.  I was impressed that the kids took the lead and were the first to jump in and try things.  It was great to watch how they worked together and kept cool heads even through failure.  

In my own life I see problems arise and I'm not the first to attack them head on like these kids did.  I want to spend some time thinking of a potential solution and how to try it out.  I forget that it is ok to fail.  We can learn a lot from our mistakes and we're bound to make them.  I'm glad that my daughter was able to remind of this.  

Andrew Clark

I am a former 4th grade teacher and current Regional Technology Trainer for 9 school districts in rural northeastern Utah. He enjoys learning about tech, traveling, and spending time with his family. You can follow me on Twitter @And_B_Clark

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