As educators we all want our students to be successful. We work hard each and every day for ALL students to help them be successful. There are many great instructional practices that we employ on a daily basis to help them be successful. Great teachers use all of their tools in their toolboxes to help ALL students be successful.
Each day administrators go into classrooms to see all of these wonderful instructional practices put in place for students. The one instructional practice that we do not get to see very often first hand is undoubtedly the most important, failure. Failure leads to the path of success only if you learn from your failure. Failure is where all of the lessons are.
We need to teach students that failure is OK. Many parents do not feel this way. Many see a B or even a C on a progress report and just go through the roof (I too have been subject to this). As I reflect back, I realize that I should have taken far different positions with my own children. Seeing them struggle with trying to master something is OK. If we swoop in and do it for them each and every time, they will never master the skill they need to.
These are reasons why we need to teach kids the Power of Yet. Many students go through each day and say things like “I am not successful” or “I cannot find the answer”. By teaching students that adding one word to each of these sentences, drastically changes the outlook for kids.
- I am not successful, yet.
- I cannot find the answer, yet.
These put hope in their despair. Teaching students a growth mindset is important. It will help them be sufficient on their own, want to have productive relationships in their lives, and enable them to seek new learning each day. Daily growth in learning and relationships with others will lead students down a successful path. One statement that I use on a regular basis with students is that "Failure is the rehearsal for success".
I love this video by Will Smith on Failure.