Things did NOT go as planned today.
What was planned was a final GHO to mark the end of the CritterKin Blog Swap – a collaborative effort between 5 classes in 4 states in which each class read and shared a CritterKin story with the others. I was scheduled to read the last two chapters of the book to the kids and lead them in a drawing exercise. Instead, one teacher was unreachable, another was struggling with a bad cold, and for whatever reason Google Hangouts did not want to work at one school.
On the flip side, we had over 90 kids whose technology DID cooperate. As the GHO screen opened, and their classes popped up on the screen, I saw familiar smiling faces whose big grins told me they were up for anything! And so, as others sorted out their technology, we introduced ourselves, asked questions about our states (Texas, Indiana, Nebraska and North Carolina with some input from the Canadian among us) and compared notes on our CritterKin adventures.
“How many of you think things always work perfectly the first time you try them?” Marty asked as our mystery class connected and then abruptly disconnected for at least the 10th time.
“Noooooo!” 90+ voices shouted in unison. Smart kids.
In the end, we were able to read the stories, draw our dogs and share our pictures with one another. The great takeaway from the whole visit, however, was how perfectly imperfect it was. So what if the technology didn’t work exactly as planned? So what if each and every kid who raised a hand was not called on? So what if the picture quality was occasionally blurry and we had to start the reading a second time to accommodate the class that was FINALLY able to connect? We were together; we were learning about, sharing with and laughing with each other. And in the process we were all – adults as well as kids – being reminded that life is seldom perfect and that’s just fine.
I came away from that GHO resolving to celebrate my perfect imperfection and that of all the talented, hard working and creative people I meet. The best we can do – that anyone can do – is show up, do our best and be willing to adapt, course correct and do a little wiggle waggling to keep our spirits up. If we can teach our kids to do the same – to see themselves and one another as marvelous one-of-a-kind explorers; to accept their mistakes as just part of the process and keep going with smiles on their faces we will have given them and ourselves a great gift.
Being perfectly imperfect doesn’t mean we don’t continue to strive for perfection, just that we have a sense of humor about it all and don’t give up when things don’t work out exactly as planned.
Check out this amazing video the kids in Monica Evon’s class made chronicling their imperfect adventure today:
Watch how the entire Google Hangout unfolded, complete with hiccups, creative excitement and a final wiggle waggle. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. Thank you Kiddos!!