Thursday, October 3, 2013

Failure is not a dirty word!

What does it mean to fail?  Does it mean you are a loser?  If you fail, do you ever recover? What about second chances? If a student fails a test do they get do-overs? 

Check out this video and would you call this guy a failure?

Why is a Major League Baseball player hitting .300 considered an All-Star? Doesn't that mean they "Fail" 7 out of 10 times they are at the plate?

Many times in Education we look at the word Failure differently than we do in the real world.  We as educators want kids to do well, be successful, and be a good addition to society.  We work hard each day to help kids understand Math, English, History and Chemistry.  We as Teachers many times strive to have all our kids passing classes and getting "A's" on all of our tests.  As administrators we incorporate strategies to help teachers teach the best they can and hold them accountable to a student doing well.

What do we do when a kid flunks a test?  What do we do when a kid fails a test?  Do they get a second chance to re-take?  What does it really mean?  Was there other factors to consider?

When looking at the word Failure we need to re-evaluate what it really means.  We look at the word Failure and we think immediately of someone that doesn't work hard, is not intelligent, and will never get anywhere in life.  Really???????    Can't failure, failing and to fail be a good thing?

As parents sometimes we need to let our kids fail.  They will in their life have a time when they fail-if you don't let them experience that when they are young-they won't know how to respond.  As teachers it is ok to let your kids fail sometimes, as long as they are given a chance to recover and master the content you want them to get.

Failure is not a dirty word!  When looking at different ways to change the meaning how about this acronym-Failing Always Involves Learning.  Learning from the mistakes you have made and how to do it better the second time! Another one could be Finding Answers Involves Learning.  Using creativity to come up with answers-even though you may fail once or twice-is OK.

Here are a couple of great articles to read about Failing in School and how parents should let their kids fail sometimes, but be there to teach them how to respond to the failure.

Benefits of letting Kids fail
Why Parents Should Let Kids Fail

Thanks to my wonderful PLN friends on #edleadchat for getting me thinking about the words Fail, Failure, Failing and what those different words mean.


1 comment:

  1. Jarred, great post! I too have been mulling this over all week. I feel like we need to find a way to have this conversation on a BIG scale because it is so integral to changing the culture of education in this country.