Invite community members to share their failures with your class!

Photo of Jeanne Bouvier
7 11

Written by

Classes invite community members and parents to share their failures with the class. Following the TED Talk model, #FAILtalks allow speakers to describe how failing led to insights and further learning. Celebrating failure fosters risk-taking, curiously and agency in student learning. 

This way, when students design, they will learn to focus on divergent thinking and not settle for their first solution.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Cait

I love this, I used to do this with my elementary classroom. I had a giant post-it that was split into two columns. One said "Miss Levin's mistakes" and the other said "How she fixed it." The students saw me dutifully report whenever I did something (like spill milk on a student at lunch!) and then saw my reflection on how I fixed it and moved on. I saw them start to model that behavior themselves. 

Photo of Hadiyah Shabazz

Love this idea! Particularly having teachers model throughout the year, Go Cait! 

Just brainstorming...  part of curriculum for We are 'co-learners' (to be way more unpacked)
-#FAILtalks, from students too
-Cait's idea, teachers modeling failures and how they are fixed throughout the year
RICHARD FANNING one step closer notebook (possibly being a part of how students are graded, similar to how portfolios/processfoilos are used in some classrooms instead of test to evaluate)

These feel very connected at trying to have students experience learning with an emphasis on understanding the general process of learning and identifying their unique way of learning. Also recognizing the role teachers can play by modeling and showing that learning is not just a student activity, and that teaching is not simply a teacher activity. Though, i'm sure a lot of ideas on teachers guild can be brought together to build vastly new classrooms :) how exciting!

Photo of Dina Gold

I wonder if you see failure more in STEM-careers than you might in others? It seems like to get to an a-ha moment, you have to constantly fail, before you eventually get it right! So I think there's definitely something here w/ Failure + STEM... curious to explore more! 

Photo of Grace

I love this idea, too! Can we build this out more to help teachers think how they model experimentation and failure as a part of their normal class structure and teaching style? I think that building a classroom culture around the idea that experimenting and failing is a critical part of learning would be great!

Photo of Lisa Yokana

I love this idea and I have a colleague Christine Boyer who invited parents into class to talk about a time that they'd failed. It would be cool to start a google doc and begin to build it out. How would this help students? What would be some scaffolding that you could create to make this happen? Let's evolve it!

Photo of Ellen Deutscher

Great idea!!

Photo of Margaret Powers

Awesome! There are some great Failure podcasts out there (entire shows and individual talks, e.g.,  http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/487606750/failure-is-an-option) 

How could this model scale to classrooms across the world? Can you share some scaffolding for getting started?