Perfect

For coaches out there, this is a great example of someone who has good sportsmanship.

I hope that Armando Galarraga has many blessings to come for his graciousness with the umpire who blew a call at first that cost him the “perfect game.”  Little did he know that his perfection would come in forgiveness. Too often when we look at perfect, we think it is in not making mistakes, when rather it is in forgiving others.

It is great that Corvette presented Armando with a car before the game started (he didn't get the perfect game but he got the perfect car.)

But, it was the fact that this pitcher, who some say was cheated out of the perfect game by a heretofore well respected umpire, was sent to deliver the scorecard to the official, Jim Joyce, this past Thursday afternoon (by a wise manager.)  Joyce has had his wife and kids threatened for the bad call and has been devastated about the mistake.  It has threatened to ruin his career and he is the first one to agree that he made a mistake.

We all blow it.  We have humans in our schools and we are humans who “keep score.”  In this, sometimes a student may be “perfect” but in fact it is the teacher who blows it.  Good teachers know it when they blow it.  Bad teachers don't care.

Perhaps the toughest thing about blowing it is the unforgiveness and “nailing to the wall” that happens from the parents and others when a teacher does make a mistake. Teachers make mistakes. Kids make mistakes.  Mistakes are not “OK” – we cannot excuse mistakes but we can expect them.

And when they happen and those mistakes come from genuine, honest, accidental “humanness” – we must realize that sometimes the most perfect thing we can do is forgive and move on.

I'm not a huge baseball fan, but, my friends, I'm now a huge fan of Armando Galarraga and also the umpire who has publicly admitting his mistake. His tears at being forgiven when handed that score card on Thursday night ran down my face this morning as I saw it on the news.

Funny how Perfect is so rare.  Perhaps this game is one of the most perfect ever played.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

thafermann June 11, 2010 - 8:40 pm

As an educator and only adult in the classroom our students tend to view us as all knowing and perfect. This can be very hard to live up to day in and day out especially when you often have 26 pairs of eyes and ears watching and listening to everything you say and do. One of the biggest fears for many teachers is to make a mistake in front of the class. A sense of panic bolts through your body and thoughts circulate in your brain ranging from embarrassment to fear of losing credibility with your students.

However, I have learned that students show a sense of compassion and understanding towards the teacher when they do make a mistake in much the same way that Galarraga treated the umpire after the blown call. I agree that mistakes are not a good thing, but understanding that they will be made and preparing yourself for the responses and reactions beforehand will help.

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