When I started Graduate School for my Masters in School Counseling, honestly it was all a fluke! I had applied the year BEFORE but had applied late so I didn't get in. The program started Summer I and I had applied for the Fall (so I was technically two semester late in applying).
Well, no big deal! That following year, we were contemplating moving and had become pregnant with our second child. So when I got the call from Indiana State University that my application had been accepted and I had an interview, I had no idea what they were talking about! I then found out they had carried my application over from the previous year. This is a fluke, I thought! But, I interviewed (just for the practice) and went on with my life, resigned to the fact I'd get denied. Well, lo-and-behold, I got accepted!
Um... now what? I never thought I'd get accepted. After pinching myself, I registered for classes and showed up for my first day! One week into classes, my wife gives birth to our son. That night (while Carter and my wife were sleeping, I was sitting on the floor of the room taking an online test for one of my classes). Talk about dedication!
During the course of that first "semester", everyone tried to prepare me to failure. "You have a lot going on", "classes are Mon-Thurs during the day and you have a job!" "your working full time", "you just had a baby", "you have two kids"... "when you fail, at least you tried". That was my favorite... "When you fail"... not "if". I almost went through Summer I like it was a game. Like it was just a taste of something I'd never really have. Well, Summer I session came and went and I got all A's.
Um... I didn't fail. I didn't flunk out... NOW WHAT?! I had so mentally prepared myself for failure that I had no idea what to do next! That next Summer session was when it really hit me, I'm in GRAD SCHOOL!!
How many times do we do this? As teachers, Counselors, Administrators, parents... We try to mentally prepare kids for failure and "soften the blow for them". We say those same lines: "you can try again", "not everyone is great at everything", "when you fail at least you tried". So when (or if) they do succeed, they don't know what to do next.
If it hadn't have been for my wife and family and friends behind me the whole way, I probably wouldn't have known what to do next. WE need to be that support for our students. Yea, soften the blow a little... But not to the point where we are setting them up for failure. Keep this in mind this year when your student wants to take Dance, register for a different elective, go out for football, be in the Spelling Bee, when they're preparing for Standardized Testing, etc... make sure your a SUPPORT for them. Help them transition to the next step WHEN they succeed!
Have a great day!