By Lauren Quinn, Co-Founder & Head of School
It’s exhibition week at The Village School and the last week of our first session of the school year. I don’t need to look at the calendar to know it’s exhibition week. I just need to spend a few minutes in the studios to know. The energy is distinctly different- tense even at times, as learners feel the pressure of preparing an event to show their families what they’ve learned this session.
Some heroes get to work. With the deadline approaching, they know it’s time to put their head down, work hard, and put forth their best effort to see the remaining challenges through to completion. In true hero fashion, they know they are responsible for their successes and failures leading up to exhibition.
Some learners choose the paths of avoidance, distraction and/or victim-hood. This can sound like:
“My computer’s not working! I can’t do this.”
“I don’t know what to do. No one told me.”
“My work disappeared! Where did it go!?”
and look like learners:
-walking around the studio, distracting others
-being extra silly, loud, or unfocused
Is this normal? Yes. We’ve all responded this way in the face of challenges at some point in our lives. Is it what we want for our child? No, of course not. We all want our children to face hard work and challenge with the character of a hero, by putting forth their best effort and taking responsibility for their learning. However, this doesn’t always happen- even though we know that they are more than capable.
As parents, it’s important to come to these exhibitions with a sense of curiosity. In what small ways am I seeing my child take responsibility for their learning? What language are they using? What are they excited about? What are they “owning”? Where might they be passing blame? Listen. Be curious. Be ready to give positive, growth-mindset feedback where due (warm-heartedness) and/or allow your child to feel the discomfort of experiencing an exhibition in which their work is being showcased and they don’t have much to show (tough-mindedness).