Thursday, December 6, 2012

Failure- Don't Fear It!


Anthony Halter made an interesting comment yesterday during the recognition breakfast for SPED, Health, and PE students.  His comment was basically about how failure is viewed by different societies.  In the west, we typically view failure or struggling as a negative rather than a natural, welcomed, or even celebrated part of the learning process.

 
His point was that the student he was recognizing was not detoured by struggles.  Rather, this student simply continued to work hard, study, and seek help until he mastered the concept.

 
I was reminded of a Arkansas Leadership Academy activity where achieving the goal (all members of our group had to work through a maze in a short amount of time) was not possible until we realized that through individual failure, we collectively identified the appropriate path.  Then everyone was able to navigate the maze well within the allotted time.

 
Whether you are trying a new instructional strategy, piloting a new common core based unit, or trying out a new tech tool, embrace and share both your successes and your failures.

 
If we’re afraid to share what goes wrong, we will continue repeating mistakes that can be avoided.

 
So, when you interact with other teachers, your PLC group, your digital PLN, the new Edmodo group started by David Welsher…share what goes well, what you’re proud of, but also what goes wrong.

 
Also, remember to play!  The most innovative teachers are the ones that aren’t afraid to challenge themselves, push new buttons, try new tools.  In short, they don’t fear failure.

 
Sometimes, there is much more to be learned from a failure than from a success.