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Failure-Encourage it this term

Why You Should Encourage Failure This Term

September 2016

Yes I am still trying to cling to the final few days of the holiday as well but the quiet whirring of cogs has begun to turn in the back of my head. What did I have to get done for the first day back? What does my calendar have marked? Did I…

For @NAPCE1, the start of the new school year often creates a time for setting new year education resolutions. What are my targets this year? What will be achieved in the classroom? Professional goals? What project will focus on getting up and running? Will I focus on teams’ stats, wellbeing or both? This is goal setting with a fixed mindset.

However, a TED radio hour podcast called ‘Failure is an Option’ has made me readjust how I will set my goals this year and what I will seek from my staff teams this term. I am going to try addressing goals with an open mindset.

Getting something to work or achieving something can be done by trying, failing and re-trying (repeat). But reducing the determination and effort is key in facilitating change. Instead, identify the problems on route to success before the journey even begins, or even if it can be gauged as realistically achievable. This allows you figure out how to prevent the hiccups or whether to even take them on.

Finally, encouraging more minds to be involved allows your participants to feel safely led as you are demonstrating your trust in them. If someone feels safe enough to try something and not be judged, then failing becomes learning.

It is natural for failure to hurt, but developing what we take from it and resolve to respond is a character strength (resilience) I would like to nurture in my every member of my team- that is my goal this term. The biggest display going up in my room is a celebratory failure board. Each entry will be given the time to be appreciated and reflected on and the biggest failure will be rewarded. If students can see their staff and their own mistakes as learning, their resilience and calculated risk taking can grow.

It might work, but if no one feels they can add anything, maybe I’ll have still met that goal and have succeeded.

I really hope you can fail too this term.

On a related note… To demonstrate my willingness to fail, I am yet to receive a single opinion on the post graduate Pastoral Care in Education module. If you would like to help me succeed, please click on the big blue button below:

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