Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires


As a teacher, one of the battles I fight on a daily basis is the battle against failure. I am not talking about the good kind of failure, the failure that happens to all of us at some point in our lives.  If you have experienced the good kind of failure, then you know what it is to give something 200% and still fall on your face.  If you have experienced the good kind of failure, then you know what is means to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.

Every year, I have a few students who have a tendency to give up when faced with a frustrating situation.  This past year, I actually had a student who, when faced with a difficult math problem or a challenging reading question, would curl up into a fetal position and cry, "I don't know! I can't do it!"

I read The Most Magnificent Thing to my entire class. They got it. Even the kid who always gave up. They understood the girl's frustration.  They understood why she almost gave up.  They told me about times they felt like giving up and they explained why it was important not to give up.

The story stayed with them for the entire year.  They remembered.  When they were met with frustration, they remembered why it was important to keep going. Most of them, with a lot of encouragement, adopted an attitude of perseverance.

Great books are true.  That is, they tell you things that you know but never articulated. The Most Magnificent Thing tells us about the good kind of failure.  The kind of failure that leads to success.

See you next Wednesday!