"Failsure"? I know, I know it's not a real word and neither is "failearner"; but they could be. Let's begin by defining these words.
Failsure- noun (feyl-shur)
1. an individual who does not to take risks in the classroom so as not to fail.
2. a person that does not adopt new and innovative strategies easily to ensure his/her students are all learning at their levels.
Failearner- noun (fey-lur-ner)
1. someone who learns from failures.
2. an individual unafraid of failing to be innovative so students can benefit from their experiences in the classroom.
So, are you a failsure or a failearner? Educators are notorious for desiring control (at all times) in the classroom. I get it; however, it is essential that we put those fears to rest and take risks; Isn't this what we ask of our students? We expect them to be innovators; to be creative; to be original. How are they going to reach their full potential if we don't model what we expect from them? Just as we must model how to use digital tools for education, or to be respectful individuals; we must model how to learn from our failures.
In Transform Academy this year in Klein, I learned the importance of failing and how to take these failures, reflect, and try again. I saw incredible growth from my students by modeling how to handle failures and make the necessary changes. We had many new experiences this year that really pushed our boundaries; and reflected on everything we did. This fostered a growth mindset in my class.
Prior to the new activity, project, procedure, etc., I let them know we were trying something different and we would reflect on our experience in hopes of improving whatever it was we were doing. This gave them the mindset that that these trials were works in progress (as are we) with the opportunity for improvement.
Teaching our students the importance of reflecting and learning from our failures is one step in fostering a failearner attitude. Dr. Shelly Zavala takes the opportunity to reflect by asking herself: "What is this inviting me to learn?" Have the kids journal their experience and how they feel they can improve on it. Take the time to help them shape their learning.
Attitude is an important aspect of learning from failing or being a failearner. Thomas Alva Edison had the perfect mindset when he said:
Don't be a failsure. It might be safe, but are you helping all your students grow to their full potential? Be a failearner and help your students be reflective, growth mindset individuals by learning from their failures. Provide them an environment to take chances, to reflect, and to grow.