At The Alfred & Adele Davis Academy we believe that making mistakes is not only a part of life but a prerequisite for real growth and learning. No one likes making mistakes. It’s in our nature to want to get things right the first time, to please others, to do our best and to appear flawless whenever able. That’s why it’s critical that children, from a very young age, learn that it’s okay to make mistakes.
When handled appropriately, mistakes of all kinds are really just invitations for trusted adults to help children develop some of life’s most important character traits, including accountability, resilience, humility and curiosity. While each of us is born with a certain measure of these important traits, it’s vital that we cultivate them as well. The heart of education is the healthy cultivation of these and other virtues.
Usually when we think about mistakes, we think also about forgiveness. Obviously, there’s a correlation between making mistakes and seeking or granting forgiveness. However, not every mistake needs to be forgiven. Some mistakes are simply part of our journey of growth and development. Forgiveness enters the equation when our mistakes negatively impact people or causes that we care about. When we hurt a classmate, family member or friend. When we negatively impact our classroom, community or faith tradition. In these cases, forgiveness plays a role in transforming hurt into healing and beginning a process of restitution and restoring trust, faith and respect. Children need to be taught how to seek and grant forgiveness. This is a subtle and sacred responsibility that we carry as adults.
Davis Academy students know that life is a journey. Because of the many trusted adults in their lives, they know that they are never alone and always have parents, teachers and others looking out for them, showing them the way towards a life full of virtue and meaning. At a very young age, and throughout their years at The Davis Academy, children learn that making mistakes, as well as granting and seeking forgiveness, are part of the journey that leads to healthy and mature adulthood.