This morning in reading group, one of my students was reading a book out loud to the rest of the group. As she finished reading the last sentence, she made a minor error. When she finished reading, another little girl across the table quietly corrected her. As a general rule, I’m not the biggest fan of kids correcting each other’s reading, but she wasn’t being mean, she was genuinely trying to help. The little girl snapped her head up from her book and shot a glare across the table at the girl who had corrected her. “I TRIED MY BEST!” she yelled.
I quickly conjured up my high-pitched gentle voice and reminded the student that we never, ever yell at our friends in the classroom. She apologized, but as her bottom lip started to quiver, my heart ached for her. She was ashamed. She had tried her best, and she still failed. I told a few jokes and all was well. All 3 students were laughing and getting along in no time.
For the last 9 months, I’ve been kicking and screaming. Just like my student, I’ve been yelling “I TRIED MY BEST.” But that doesn’t always matter. Sometimes, you try your best, and you’re still reading the wrong words. Sometimes you read the words that you think are supposed to be on the page, even when they’re not there. It still sounds fine to you, and no one would be the wiser if someone else didn’t speak up. We’ve been taught that “I TRIED MY BEST” is the best we can get. I’m glad that it’s not. I’m grateful for a good God who will correct my sentences when I read them the wrong way, no matter how painful it is.