Several months ago I was searching the internet for some good ideas on teaching poetry to Jr high and high school students. I came across this great post on Medium by Jon E. H. Burton who was participating in a 100 Day Haiku challenge.
And then I came across another great post on Medium by Courtney Symons.
This was perfect because I was planning on having my students learn haiku because I figured it would be great to start with. The more I read about 100 Day Challenges, the more I realized how essential it is to participate in them. Here are some important things that I concluded.
- You will improve: When you complete any task consistently on a daily basis, studies have shown that you will improve in that task. There is a story I heard about a ceramics teacher. You have probably heard this story before, but here it is.
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”.
Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work — and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
If you take anything away from this story, it should be this:
2. It will become a habit: Studies have shown that it takes about three weeks to form a habit. That is only 21 days. If you attempt a 100 Day Challenge, even if you miss a couple days, you will be way over the mark to form a good habit. No matter what challenge you choose: exercising, writing a blog, drawing art, reading, ect., you will form a new habit.
3. It will help you become disciplined. No matter what you do in life, being disciplined is important. Discipline help people to focus and get things completed.
Here is a great quote I read from
“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”
It is hard to get things finished if you lack discipline and drive in your life. Even in an everyday situation such as chores around the house, school work, or work in general, having the discipline to complete things and move on to the next task makes life a whole lot easier.