I Call Mulligan

Remember growing up playing backyard football or baseball and you would do something stupid and yell “Do over” or “I call mulligan”? If granted, you tried so much harder that second chance, didn’t you?

Today I bombed at something. Something that should’ve been easy, a breeze, etc. But when you are as passionate about something as I was today, sometimes nerves take over. I froze & brain turned to mush. Good for others, bad for me. All afternoon I have reflected on “coulda, shoulda, woulda.” But there are no mulligans here, so I must live with it.

In a conversation last week at cheer camp a coach told me “There are no do-overs in real life, kids need to learn that now.” Now that was in a different context about a weird situation she was in. But why? Why can’t kids have do-overs? No there are no do-overs in “life” but guess what, when you are a kid there should be! I’m sure kids invented the idea anyway.

Recently, I had a student tell me when he got home he kept thinking about different things he should’ve said during his presentation and asked to do it again. How could I say no?! How much time could he have spent thinking about this? Poor guy. Yeah I can relate!

We need to remember our goal is for the students to learn. Not perform on their best everyday. My student presented perfectly this time (I actually thought he did ok the 1st time). Our goal in the classroom is for the students to master the standard. If they have a bad day that doesn’t mean they have not mastered that standard. Why not give them a safe place to try again?

No, there are not do-overs in real life but school is not real life! It needs to be a safe place students can be successful. Needs to be a place of learning from mistakes. It needs to be a place students can show their learning, do-overs allow that.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. dunsiger says:

    Wow Amanda! Your students are lucky to have such a caring, thoughtful teacher that really wants to ensure that all of them do their best. I’m glad that you give them do-overs. I feel the same way about this too!


  2. Royan Lee says:

    Well, I was about to write a post about this very topic but I guess I won’t now. I think it’s one of the biggest tragedies that we don’t do ‘mulligans’. If you think about everything you have ever gotten good at, it always includes practice and do-overs.

  3. Nbitar says:

    What a great post!! I totally agree that learning needs to be more about the process of improving and self motivated learning, rather about a one day test performance!

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