Todays #satchat conversation on resiliency really got me thinking about failure and how it has become so taboo in education right now. Think about it -- if a select group of students fails the state test, no matter how well the students in the school do the school can now be taken over by the state. If a teacher has a bad observation or two they could lose their job no matter how good the other 180 days of school may be. Failure is no longer seen as a growing experience. Failure has become the new F word in education and it needs to change!
The educational system of today is set up in a way that everyone is afraid of failure because the consequences have become so high. No one wins in this situation!
We need a huge paradigm shift - one where failure is celebrated and learned from. EVERYONE FAILS! No one is perfect! It is how you learn from the failures and grow as a person that is important.
As educators we need to embrace failure and learn from it. We need to celebrate educators who take risks and not penalize them if they fail.
We as teachers need to allow students to fail and allow them to learn from the failures. We also need to foster problem-based learning and risk taking in our classrooms.
As administrators we need support and celebrate risk-taking behavior in our schools. We need to help teachers learn from their failures instead of penalizing them. We need create a school culture that fosters the F word.
Failure is a part of life and is a hard lesson to learn. It took me almost 37 years to learn it …and I am still not there. I have made some huge mistakes in my life and am learning that all I can do is admit my failures and try to learn from them and become a better person.
Lets, as educators, teach our students that failure is not the big bad F word that our society makes it out to be!
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. The views are my own. Find my full resume above.