We do a LOT of learning around Joyner. Our students grow from learning their letters and sounds to reading novels full of inferencing and connection. We learn to point to an object and describe the shape and count it and grow to manipulating and combining and calculating the volume of the object. We learn basic words in Spanish to speaking fluently with each other. SO MUCH LEARNING! I love watching how the teachers engage our students in this learning process. But sometimes it just takes that repetition and practice. And some of our students struggle with the “why” of that practice. Why labor over that book for 20 minutes EVERY night? Why practice those math facts?

I had a wonderful conversation with Mr. Whitehurst, our AG teacher this week. He shared an example that he uses with his students to help them understand why they must practice. He asked an older student to come up and tie her shoe while chatting with the class. Of course, this was no problem for the student. He then points out that there was a time that that same student had once had to concentrate so hard in doing the task of tying their shoe they might not have even noticed how they twisted their tongue to get it done! Same with a younger student in putting on their coat. My three-year old son still has to concentrate as he puts his winter coat on in the mornings. Soon, he too will be able to continue his conversation with me without missing a beat.

Sometimes it just takes practice. And with that practice, we all become more comfortable and have more ease with those difficult tasks.

Practice might not always make perfect, but it can mean feeling stronger and more confident.