On Friday I sent what felt like the silliest email in the world to the school team invested in working with a particular student. My hand hesitated over the send button, wondering if it was really worth telling everyone about the small success the student had that day. It was small. Well, in the grand scheme of things it was small. For other children it was minuscule. For this child? It was monumental.
Out of context it seemed like a silly thing to celebrate. It was something we expect all children to do in school anyway. Even in context I worried about people on the team telling me that by celebrating things I wasn't having high enough expectations.
But we spend so much time getting bogged down in all the problems of the school day we often forget to celebrate the baby steps involved in moving forward. Sure, my email didn't say "the child is having a perfect day." But what I described is one baby step closer to our ideal goals for the child. And that is worth celebrating.
Identify problems in order to build strong solutions. Celebrate the baby steps along the way and keep focused on those long term goals. Use the excitement from the baby steps to give you the energy to keep going. Those long term goals will come.