This has pretty much been Julie's year.
She doing great in school.
She's excelling in karate--often earning the special "top gun" award for best performance. She's been scoring top parts in plays: Jafar in "Aladdin", Annie in "Annie" and Sebastian in "Little Mermaid". She was selected by her teachers to help with the school's animals on Zoo Crew and she earned a spot on the schools Honor's Chorus.
Things have been going her way this year.
So, I think she was completely shocked when her teacher didn't choose her speech as the best in the class. Fifth graders were asked to deliver a speech on optimism, and the teachers were asked to choose the best in the class to compete with other fifth graders in the school, then at the county, and finally at the state. Winners receive $250.
Julie was convinced hers would win. She spent hours writing, memorizing and practicing. Did I mention winners receive $250?
Friday Julie and her classmates each presented their speech and the teacher chose the best one to move on to the school level.
It wasn't Julie's.
She was crushed. After school, she burst into tears and proclaimed her utter dislike for the teacher.
"But I was the only one who memorized it! The girl who won kept looking at her paper and reading super fast!" she bawled.
I do think she had a pretty darn good speech, and the way she delivered it was impressive for a fifth grader. We were proud of her, regardless of whether she won.
But, there was a bigger lesson.
Sometimes you don't win. She really hasn't lost a whole lot this year, or in life in general, and things have pretty much gone the way she's wanted. So, this was a little teachable moment.
She came around a little, and admitted the winner, who happens to be her friend, had a great speech, though her presentation might need some work. And while she tried to blame it on her teacher for choosing the best behaved kid in class, we eventually got her to understand that she's pretty amazing but she's not going to win everything or be the best of the best all the time. Sometimes things don't always work out the way you want. Besides, other people have to win occasionally right? ;)