This past Thursday, we celebrated a mistake. Yes, you read that correctly. This past Thursday we celebrated a mistake. The Montpellier Herault Sports club is a French association football club based in France. It was discovered in September that their game jerseys contained a misspelling; the jerseys were missing one "l". The story received international attention three months ago, and just this weekend, even NPR covered it.
Instead of sending the misspelled jerseys back to the manufacturer, the French city officials reached out to our one "l" Montpelier city officials and arranged for the jerseys to be sent to us. We held a Skype ceremony to connect with our closely named counterparts in Europe. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet - albeit electronically - people whose path we normally would not have crossed.
We had students from each of our schools represented, Union Elementary School, Main Street Middle School, and Montpelier High School. What a unique moment for them to be a part of. One that started from a mistake.
We spend a good deal of time correcting mistakes as educators, and really as human beings. It seems that it's more of a one-way street, with adults doing a fair amount of the correcting for our students. As adults, it's critical that we are open to having our students point out the places we have misstepped; since it is all in the name of lifelong learning, there is no shame in making mistakes.
This week the City of Montpellier, France modeled that the most important step after to take once a mistake is made is how to correct it. In this case, relationships were bridged across two continents. What a beautiful life lesson for our students to witness.