• TYO Photos

    Wild fire, and sometimes wild Tamer!

    Very happy to show off her Fire

    Tulai receives her graduation certificate for learning the English Alphabet

    Tasneem loved her mini kite

    Students made these name tags in the second lesson, each time we tried them on they practised responding to 'What is your name?" in English. Today they got to take them home!

    More Photos
  • TYO Tweets

    • هل انت طالب جامعي ام خريج؟ هل تود ان تطور مهاراتك وكفاءتك المهنية وتحصل على فرصة للحصول على منحة جامعية؟ اذا كنت... fb.me/32dh67Fwc 12 hours ago
    • As TYO interns wrap-up the Spring Session and say goodbye to their kids, they reflect on the success of this... fb.me/1qPFOjcQO 14 hours ago
    • Today, TYO Entrepreneur Maysaa Abu Mohsen marked Earth Day by showcasing her herbal soaps in a bazaar featuring... fb.me/1KFUY5OBL 1 day ago
    • After a wonderful Spring Session with record attendance, TYO's star volunteers reflect on the highlights of the... fb.me/6twtaAbHS 1 day ago
    • Happy Earth Day from TYO! You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.... fb.me/6qJnfTKqH 1 day ago
  • April 2014
    S M T W T F S
    « Jun    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930  

What’s Right About Being Wrong

It was a good week for my Creative Thinking class. Once an idealistic brainchild led by two terrified first-time TYO teachers, the pilot class is really starting to come into its own.

Heading into the class eight weeks ago, one of my major goals was to convince our kids that sometimes, it’s totally fine to be wrong. Getting the right answer isn’t always the point; it’s the process of reasoning  that refines our logic and molds us into lean, mean critical thinking machines. Being wrong about things is what makes us human – it’s the proverbial hand on the stove top or super hot pepper that your brother dared you to eat. It might not be your proudest moment, but being wrong is what makes us grow.

To that end, I assigned a class project for which being right was victorious and being wrong was hilarious. The kids were each given a water balloon and told that in half an hour, we were dropping it off the roof. Their assignment was to create a protective barrier to prevent the balloon from breaking from the collision.

After a solid three minutes of staring at their balloons and fighting every ounce of kid instinct telling them to forget the project throw it directly at their teacher, they got to work. What resulted was nothing short of a miracle. There were no squabbles over materials, no moments of frustration, no asking for the answers – just good old fashioned hard work. They squinted their eyes and pursed their lips as they taped pieces of cushion and foam and newspaper around their fragile balloons. A half hour later, it was show time.

Only four kids out of two classes successfully protected their balloons from utter destruction, but it didn’t seem to matter. They laughed as volunteer Imad counted down from three before he released each kid’s creation. They laughed even harder when the balloons exploded all over me and my translator, Jamila. They smiled and shrugged when I held up the popped balloons with a grin, and four of them jumped up and down and hi-fived their friends while raising an dry, intact bundle triumphantly over their heads.

When we got back to the room, we asked if they’d had fun. The answer was a resounding “Ah! Ah! Ah!” (kid translation: yes, we did.) The activity wasn’t about being right – it was about learning that sometimes failure is okay. Especially if it soaks your teacher with a water balloon.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers