I have to admit from the outset that I am a “die-hard” Toronto Maple Leaf fan. Not only do I remember when the Leafs last won the Cup, but I can also remember who was on the team.
And so, on Tuesday night, like many others, I went from the excitement of another round of playoffs, to utter despair. Waking up on Wednesday Leaf Nation did not have the same aura about it.
But then I thought of the players and how they dealt with and felt about their disappointment. Did they take any consolation in the pundits who talked about improvements throughout the season and how next year would be so much better? I can’t think they were feeling good, despite all the clichés about it only being a game. This gave me pause to think about our students.
How do our students feel when they are disappointed? Would they be as devastated as the Leaf players. To some degree they would feel the same emotion.
Whether it is putting a great deal of effort into a test, a musical performance, or an athletic event, there is a true feeling of investment. When you feel that you have fallen short of your goal it hardly feels that the investment of time and commitment was worth the effort. And it would not be reassuring for a faculty member to say, “next year.”
Success and failure are not end points; they are stations on the journey. The secret is not to spend time at the station. In failure and in success there is learning, but the learning does not stop there. It is the resolve to move forward with renewed enthusiasm to the next station that is critical. As teachers it is our responsibility to help children develop this resolve and resiliency. Hopefully the Leaf coaching staff can do the same for our beloved Leafs.