Those who skate were patient with their less than coordinated classmates. They tried to teach them how to skate, offered advice on how to stand up, and they encouraged them to keep trying.
Those who could not skate spent a lot of time falling. Arms and legs were flailing at every turn. One second they are gingerly trying to go around the rink, the next second they are sprawled on the floor. Many egos as well as behinds were badly bruised today, but I was impressed with how many of them would not give up. So many of the students who could not skate had a strong drive to master the task of roller skating/blading. They kept going, round and down and round again. It was wonderful to know that they had the strength and tenacity to keep trying. They may not have mastered skating in one afternoon, but by the end of the trip many had showed significant improvement.
I began to wonder where this drive is in the classroom. What is lacking in so many classrooms? Why do students give up so easily? Over the years, I have heard students complain that they can't do it or that they are stupid. It breaks my heart to see students struggle and give up on school work. Today I witnessed that they can do it, that there are some things worth working hard for. Now the trick is to transfer that lesson to the classroom, to not give up on their work, that their hard work will pay off and there will be improvement.
Today was a great day with the kids!