I recently taught an art lesson that I thought was going quite well. Students were working on the art elements of line and perspective. We had been learning about owls and so we were zooming in on one aspect of the owl’s body that helps it adapt to survive. Students were busy and engaged with their drawings. As time passed and students came to the point where they were finishing up I had a student come up to me and ask if his drawing was “good enough?” Shivers ran down my spine at the phrase and I took a deep breath and gave what I thought was a brilliant response as I redirected the student to reflect himself on whether or not he was happy with his drawing, whether he felt it was good enough, and whether or not he had put forth his best effort. Just as I was about to pat myself on the back, he looked at me and said, “yeah, but is it good enough?” Sadly, I had two more students come and ask me a similar question before the art class concluded. So, I brought the class to the carpet and we had a discussion about “good enough,” and I reiterated that we need to be reflective and that I was not the one who decided what was good enough.
Read More >>
I felt a bit out of sorts about this all day and I couldn’t shake the notion that I hadn’t quite got my message across to my grade one students, and felt sad that they were looking to me to validate their efforts as “good enough.”
After school that day I had an opportunity to attend a presentation by George Couros, author of the book, An Innovator’s Mindset and the blog, Principal of Change. George spoke to us about developing innovative students who are excited to be in our classrooms. I immediately thought of my students asking if their work was good enough.