If there’s one thing you know about me, it’s that I am flat out obsessed with my two-year-old daughter. She’s at that stage where she is into everything and if there are a few minutes of quiet then I know something could be terribly wrong. Just the other day she drew with bright yellow marker all over our brand new dining room chairs. I wish I could say that this was the first “mishap” with markers-but it wasn’t.

The other day we were working on decorating Christmas ornaments to hang on our tree. I fearfully handed over the paint and paintbrush to my daughter and let her go to town. It took everything in me not to attempt to control the outcome of her artwork. She had paint everywhere and the ornament wasn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing as I had imagined it would be. I desperately wanted to jump in and help her but I knew I shouldn’t. As a parent, it is my job to guide her and keep her safe. This is why I rolled up her sleeves, laid out some newspaper and made sure she didn’t eat the paint.

A teacher’s role in the classroom is similar in that it is our job to guide our students-not control the outcomes. Our role is to pose questions, offer feedback and come alongside our students as they struggle and succeed. This can be difficult to do because just like parenting as teachers we want the best for our students. Sometimes, the best experience we can offer our students is the gift of failure. The opportunity to fall, pick yourself up, and try again. The opportunity to try something new and out of the box and internalize what it really feels like to succeed. The experience for them to learn and grow on their own, without us hovering over their shoulder ready to scoop them up and protect them from the world. Moving forward, I challenge you to take a look at your own kids or students. How are you providing safety and security for them- while also giving them room to grow in their own failures and mistakes?

Katherine has worked in both public and private Christian school settings and has a history of serving on an accreditation team for a school working through the accreditation process with the Association of Christian Schools International. She has served in a professional development leadership capacity for a team of teachers in the past and is currently working on her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana Wesleyan University. Katherine is highly motivated and has felt led by God to work on the Compass Rose Academy team.  She has a great heart for the students at Compass Rose. Katherine lives in Somerset, Indiana with her husband, Patrick, and daughter, Piper.