The Games have begun! There is something that I find absolutely compelling about The Olympics. Perhaps it is the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, or maybe it is the pageantry and pure spectacle. I love that every two years (thanks to the staggered schedule of the Summer and Winter games) that the world seems to put some of our differences aside and unites to celebrate excellence.
Big fish / little pond
every event is a team event
During the Parade of Nations, did you notice that it was not only the athletes that marched, but it was also many coaches? This is because even in individual sports, there is support team of coaches, trainers, and mentors that helped them to get here. Olympic athletes are not here because of what they did alone, but instead it is because of the great number of people behind them. Add to this team of support, all of the friends, families, and communities that back home cheering them on.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
This is an important lesson for gifted students who may feel very comfortable playing it safe. As teachers and parents, we often reward students for what we may even refer to as "perfect" work. However, much of the work that our students are completing may not be challenging them to push themselves forward. Instead of assigning value or a grade on how well a project or assignment is completed, let's try celebrating how difficult or challenging something was. Are your students trying new things and pushing their own personal envelopes, or are they living up the bar that you have established for them with a rubric? I imagine the you have seen more than a few gifted students examine a rubric or learning contract and work just to the level that gets them the desired grade. Let's encourage them to go for a "quad" in the classroom, but remember with this level of risk taking, there also comes an increase in the amount of support that is needed.
THERE IS ALWAYS A RANGE
I hope that these five things have given you some things to think about as you continue watching the spectacle that is the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Go Team USA!