The Guinness Book of Records published its 2022 edition this week and I can’t wait to get a look at it. It has always fascinated me to read about some of the incredible world records people have achieved but mainly because I want to know, why?
A quick internet search gives an insight into some of the world records held: Most jelly eaten with chopsticks, Most hula hoops spun at once, Most walnuts crushed by hand in one minute, Most ice cream scoops balanced on a cone and so on. (At this point, you might want me to remind your sons not to try these at home!) Whilst I might be mildly curious about the talent and effort to achieve record holder status in these areas, I am none the wiser on why people would do this.
Whilst publicity is undoubtedly a key motivator for some (I recall my hairdresser proudly displaying his Guinness world record certificate for the most underwater haircuts), there is a human drive to achieve that a reflection on the recent achievements of our Paralympic athletes highlights. These athletes and their able bodied counterparts put themselves through gruelling training schedules relentlessly pursuing self improvement.
It is this intrinsic drive to improve that, as an educator, I am always looking to tap into. After all, it is the power inside ourselves (not our parents) that propels us forwards. At Elmhurst, challenge is an essential element to every lesson. Our prep school ethos is to teach learning habits to enable our boys to find that inner drive. For some it will come more easily than others, but when it does a world record is surely there to be broken.