Failure as a Teacher

Failures become our greatest teachers only when we allow them to be.
Finn sobbed the entire 20 min walk to our car after the Hawkeye’s Women’s basketball game last night. A rough ending to a fun night and great game.
Hot tears on frozen cheeks.
This was her “take 2” on getting an autograph. She and her big sis walked over by the tunnel before the game ended to get in position- sharpies and posters in hand.
They were turned away by the arena staff/security and told no autographs were being signed tonight.
As she made her way back up the steps to the top of the arena, she looked down and saw Caitlin Clark signing autographs on for court.
She broke down crying. Overtired, over stimulated, she had a very human reaction to disappointment.
As I tucked her into bed she told me she needed to take the next day to think about what I had talked to her about and then would tell me what she learned from the experience- but I was NOT to bring it up to her until she was ready.
Tonight she told me that she learned the following:
1) The people who told her there wouldn’t be any autographs signed probably didn’t lie to her like she had originally accused them of doing, but just weren’t told the right info or plans changed without them knowing.
2)”Mom- this has happened two times now, I have to be better prepared next time so I don’t get disappointed and upset. I have to do better.”
On the drive home we talked about the good memories from the night- all made possible because of the kindness and generosity of a friend who gifted us the ticket.
Tonight, Finn concluded with this thought- “mom, I can’t let the whole autograph thing be so big in my head, because it’s not fair to all the good parts. Small potatoes right? ” (When she is upset we take the time to question if it is a small potato or big potato- we toss out the small ones and move on.)
Failures become our greatest teachers only when we allow them to be. It requires sitting is the discomfort of owning our actions, our choices and committing to making changes.
The best lesson from this was “Let the good parts have the space they deserve in your head, and keep the small potatoes as small potatoes.”
***One of the good parts for me was seeing Caitlin Clark give a young girl her shoes while signing autographs. Her delight was magical to witness and I’m truly so happy for the memory she has of that moment. This post isn’t a complaint about my kid not getting an autograph. The entire team gives back so much time to this community and are role models to countless young girls and boys!

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