Failure is essential

There is no innovation without failure - so fail well!

Photo of Alice Dewittie
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Last year I encouraged my staff to fail well.  In order to risk, to create, to innovate, our staff needed to know that it was safe to fail.  They needed to know that no risk, no fall, no epic failure was too big to not have a safety net of protection.  The only failure was the failure to risk, to innovate, to try.  Teachers and other staff members started trying new strategies, new structures, new relationships; our students started learning in new ways, experiencing new uses of time and place in our school.  If a shame-free culture is to be established so that teachers can innovate and risk, then their fear of failure needs to be addressed and consequences absolved. 


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Photo of Bob Weiman

I agree that it's so important to foster a culture of risk-taking, but it is a challenge to make such a shift in mindset. Few people like to fail, but so many teachers are particularly reluctant to do so in front of or with their students. But boy is it great role modeling to do so!

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