Beautiful Oops

Friday, June 27, 2014

     Have you ever made a mistake?

     So, I think we can all agree that we have made a mistake here and there.  It's life.  Mistakes happen.  I always reference my favorite line from Breakfast Club when something happens that I didn't expect.

     Well, now I have a new reference to make to the mistakes that happen in my life, but with an optimistic spin.  In reality, mistakes happen to us all.  I wrote a blog post about a spilled cup of coffee and the silver linings that happened because of it, and the great and wonderful Bazz sent me a mindset shifting book.  It is called Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg, and it is truly beautiful.

     "Every spill has lots and lots of possibilities!"

    The truth is, since we all make mistakes, then they are part of life.  If we take the time to learn from our mistakes, and see the possibilities they bring, then perhaps we would be more forgiving of ourselves.  In an artsy, 3D way (you have got to see this book in person!) the book says:
"A torn piece of paper is just the beginning!
Every spill has lots and lots of possibilities!
Bent paper is something to celebrate!
A little drip of paint lets your imagination run wild.
A scrap of paper can be fun to play with.
A smudge and a smear can make magic appear."

     I found this wonderful gift in my mailbox months ago, but I was compelled to blog about it now because Lauren Hogel and I are planning a PD session on formative assessment in the writing workshop.  Doesn't that section of text above just scream mentor text for our young writers in the fall?  Our students are often reluctant writers, afraid to make mistakes and sometimes choose not to write at all in an attempt to avoid making them.  This book would be an excellent lesson for them to realize that we ALL make mistakes, and that they can be celebrated.  The quote below is the ending of the book.  Beauty is found in all our kids writing.  They just have to see it. 

     It also reminded me that I need to allow myself to make mistakes.  This was a new year for me as a Literacy Coach, and sometimes I sit and think about how it went, and I start to list the 500 things I would have done differently.  But, when I sit and think about the value in some of those mistakes, I also see the benefits to them.  The outcomes, while not intended, were often a blessing in disguise.  This year, because I made mistakes, I discovered...

My friends have comforting words.

My coworkers are huge resources.

Our students are resilient, and I am too.

Having a voice matters, but how we use it matters too.

     Before the next year begins, I suggest taking some time to think about some of the things you would do differently next year.  Don't see them as things you need to change, but see them as the opportunities they were.   How did you become a stronger teacher/ person because of those mistakes?  Take some time to celebrate those beautiful oopses in your life.

Diona Bazz Iacobazzi is a beautiful person.  
That is all.



  1. What an inspirational post! I plan to share this with the HMS staff and my tweeps. Thank you for challenging me to reflect on my oopses!

  2. Thanks, Sue. Although, I am not sure how someone as fantastic as you has oopses to reflect on. :) I guess we all make them, even those who we look up to.