I originally wrote this for my posterous blog post.
Nobody wants to be a failure and the worst possible grade you could get in our current system is an F which stands for Fail.
It would seem that Failure is not something that we as educators should encourage.However I think we need to redefine what Failure is.
In the movie Apollo 13 when they said “Failure is Not an Option” what that meant is that they must succeed and come up with a solution. However in coming up with that solution they had minor setbacks or failures along the way but they didn’t give up.
I think that we as teachers need to define failure as part of the process that leads to success and that it is not the end of a journey but rather part of a process. Parenthetically that is why I think giving a student a F on something where he shuts down and does nothing go against everything we as teachers want to do. Therefore we need to help, teach, and show our students this new definition of failure.
If we want our students to take risks and push themselves beyond their comfort zone then they are going to fail along the way and we need to teach them that as long as they continue to try,a temporary failure is O.K. and often necessary in order to succeed.
Here are some quotes that I like about failure and believe that they describe and define Failure the way that we as educators need to view it.
“Failure is Success if we learn from it” – Malcom Forbes
“We seem to gain wisdom more readily through our failures than through our successes. We always think of failure as the antithesis of success, but it isn’t. Success often lies on the other side of failure.” Leo F. Buscaglia
“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” Sven Goren Errikson
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell
My Quick Thoughts