Celebrating Small Wins

I was tired, worn out, and hungry when I joined a Zoom meeting for our district instructional leadership team.

We meet monthly with our assistant superintendent and instructional coordinator to implement instructional practices, modify existing structures, amplify teacher voice, and cultivate teacher leadership. The meeting seemed daunting on this particular day. Sometimes I feel like I can barely survive teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. But in this meeting, our assistant superintendent and instructional coordinator truly refreshed my thinking and changed my perspective.

We discussed “showing people the wins”- recognizing the power of progress and boosting morale with teachers and staff by mindfully noticing the small wins we experience on a day to day basis. At first, it was hard for me to think of a win. I’ll admit, this season has made it easy for me to slip into a negative thinking mindset. I really had to intentionally shift my thinking.

In the past few weeks, my second graders and I have explored nonfiction texts, experimented with states of matter, investigated heating and cooling Halloween candy, shared published writing pieces, and sang “Happy Birthday” to three different students. These were small wins.

Why do these November moments stick with me? They are times I have been fully present and connected to my environment. Students are at the heart of what I love to do. The classroom is filled with the noise of learning, instead of the silence of anxiety. These are bigger wins.

In all of the hustle and bustle of face masks and physical distancing, transitions and technology, sanitizing and scheduling, some of my calmest moments have been when I am doing what I love, teaching and facilitating learning with students.

So, in the coming weeks (in school and at home), I hope we all are able to notice some of the small wins…the things that bring each of us life – being connected, staying present, engaging in conversation, listening to the right noise, investing time and energy into something larger. I am cheering us all on this month as we intentionally seek and celebrate the small wins.

I’d love to know- What’s a small win you’ve had recently?


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