How did you fail today?

During our regular weekly Techie Thursday lunch, we were discussing failure and how to learn from it and how to encourage our students to be okay with failure.  One teacher, a parent, said that she had started asking her kids every day, “How did you fail today?” They then talk about the failure, whether it was due to something they did–poor planning, not enough effort.  Or whether it’s just a perception of failure or out of their control.  And then they talk about how to recover, what to do next time.  They treat failure as normal, as part of learning and growing.

I loved it so much, I told Geeky Girl about it on the way home, and she shared a small failure with me and I shared one with her.

I fail on a regular basis.  I will admit that I don’t like failing sometimes.  We all like the feeling of being good at stuff.  It feel exhilarating when things are going smoothly and you’re shining in the spotlight.  Heck, it’s great to watch people who are performing at their best.  But in order to get to that point, you have to fail a lot.  And that failure can feel terrible.  We have to live up to those failures, though, and not be devastated by them.  That’s what we talked about .  How we help our students buffet the ups and downs of their academic lives and not feel like an A- is the end of the world?  Or is the culture such that that’s not possible? After reading Excellent Sheep, I feel that might be the case.  But I love that we had a conversation about it at a meeting that was supposed to be about technology.  As I often say, the issues we face are never about the technology, per se.  They’re bigger than that.

2 Replies to “How did you fail today?”

  1. When I was learning how to downhill ski and complained to a friend about how often I fell, she said, “Well, if you aren’t falling, that means you aren’t pushing yourself enough.”

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