Monday, May 8, 2017

Learning from Failure

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
- Winston Churchill
Since we are at the half-way point of the quarter, I took some time to reflect on my students from the past, especially when I was a new teacher. Typically by this point, there have been multiple assessments, and students who are not doing well may just disappear from class. If they stayed, some continued to struggle, and were often embarrassed by their failures. They were reluctant to ask for help because of that embarrassment. 

I have since changed my tune about failure. In a recent article in The Chronicle for Higher Education, Creative Ways to Help Students Recover from Failure, author Raynard S. Kington, President of Grinnell College, says, “The risk of failure — that we might not ‘get it’ — is the price we pay for the gift of new knowledge, and knowledge is at the core of our mission and our efforts to make the world a better place.”
Our challenge as educators is to help students understand this. Are there ways that you help students over the failure hurdle?

We’d love to hear your ideas! Comment below, or email

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