Fail Forward Fest

Encourage students to reflect on their struggles and failures and make their thinking visible to parents at a Fail Fest celebration.

Photo of Donna Teuber
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With so much emphasis on student achievement, it's no wonder that parents expect their children to complete their assignments, follow the rules, and make good grades. What would happen if teachers reversed this trend by teaching kids perseverance and learning from their failures? What if we celebrated the fact that students are able to analyze the process that they went through to complete an assignment or project and share what worked and what didn't work? What if we assessed students on their ability to analyze instead of their ability to memorize?

With Fail Forward, students will reflect each day on their learning process (Think Time) and post their reflections to a closed community where parents, teachers, and other students can comment, give encouragement, and provide motivation for the students. We will build a culture of caring and an environment where failure is just the first step to success.

Every nine weeks we will celebrate with a Fail Forward Fest and students will share their biggest failures along with the actions that they took to be successful. Parents, teachers, and other students will celebrate the learning process as well as the learning outcomes.

Resource: Talking About Failure: What Parents Can Do to Motivate Kids in School


Join the conversation:

Photo of David Holzendorf

Donna, I love the idea of teaching students to accept and learn from their failures.  I agree that we need to teach students that your never really finished with a project, product, or even an assignment.  You can always make it better or different.  

Photo of Erin Carey

HMW include not only, "Fail up" moments, but also works in progress, in addition to typical finished and polished products included in a portfolio system?

Photo of Margaret Powers

This reminds me of Angelo Truglio Go Me! Time! I wonder how you could get teachers to understand the value of this and how to facilitate it? Maybe they could pilot it first with their colleagues and celebrate their failures together?