Below is an excerpt from Student Speak, a blog to which I post and accrue meaningful moments, ideas, and exchanges from school settings.
Setting: A 5th grade dance class. Our performance is behind us and now and we have two classes left before the school year ends… We continue working on a dance we started earlier, just for fun, and also for the sake of finishing it.
5th grader: (under his breath) It doesn’t really matter if we do this one well or not.
Me: It does actually. It matters to me. It matters to me, for you. Because there’s something to be said for being devoted to quality, even if there’s no audience, no reward, no performance, no test, no one watching. It matters, for it’s own sake. And because, ultimately, you benefit from it more when you treat it as such. Why not come in and do your best versus just ‘get by,’ ‘get through’ and be thoroughly mediocre? Please don’t waste my time with that. I can promise you that I’ll do my best not to waste yours.