With 2014 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to look forward with full force to 2015 and my role as lead learner in the classroom. (I’m talking Hubble Telescope strength vision.) While Sue and Donna share “change” and “courage” as their one word, I choose humility as mine. Without humility in my practice I risk impacting the potential of my students, and risk further cementing a fixed mindset. Two things that I cannot allow to happen on my watch.
As teachers we all undertake to abide by a sort of secret oath. Maybe if I was to make it into a company tagline or touchstone it might go like this…Courage to effect change with humility for a better world through education. Hmm? Might need some work, but I’m going to roll with it because I truly believe that our learners need to see us as human. The myth(lie) of perfection must be debunked. Students must see us as capable of making a mess of things while modelling the resilience to learn from it each time.
Perhaps, we need to accept that we are incapable of succeeding on the first, second or even 99th attempt. How we respond to a lack of success ourselves will set the tone for each of our students. We must be able to laugh at ourselves in the process and know that it is not weakness when we fail. Perhaps we need to admit that we need help to succeed(a shameless plug for collaboration in education). Ultimately, it is our attitude/mindset that will instruct and empower our learners to be fearless of failure in the classroom and in life. This can only happen if we have the humility to share our less than perfect humanity.
After all, failure is just the discovery of “how not to do something” according to Edison, or as “the opportunity to begin again” said Henry Ford.
We even have a Fail Club in the classroom to celebrate the attempt, the effort and the learning. I love the FAIL acronym as it represents;
What I look forward to in 2015 is encouraging more, sharing more and learning more. And I know it can’t happen without the humility to fail, fall and move forward in my classroom. Here’s to another FAIL…future attempts in learning!