Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday Sayings: Failure or Feedback?




I had one of those moments this week of thinking, "Nope, won't do that again."  I thought I had a creative art lesson on my hands, integrating their names with a Pinterest project I found.  There were simply a few pivotal aspects of the morphed product I envisioned in my head that I hadn't taken into consideration before putting it into the hands of first graders.  It was a classic moment of "This is what it looks like on Pinterest," and "This is what it looks like in real life."  I'm happy to say the kiddos were very much engaged and proud of their finished products though.  They reviewed letters, specifically vowels, as well as syllables.  They learned how to properly use glue bottles too, which is a coveted skill in a first grade teacher's life.  It wasn't a complete waste of time.

Failure viewed as feedback comes my way on a fairly consistent basis, but I know how to give myself a break.  This is one of the gifts I've learned to generously grant myself over the years.  Without it, I would have considered myself a failure years ago.  It's a must-have in the classroom.  

I've heard of the teacher who wouldn't have easily recovered from a lesson like the one I described above.  They would have been so engrossed in frustration that they couldn't reflect on what went well or the changes they might make.  Self-critisism is a tough place to grow from though.  It's paralyzing.  

Instead of stopping me in my tracks, feedback has the potential to propel me towards better practices.  In fact, my students and I are continually benefiting from my failed moments of years gone by.  Those experiences have left a positive stamp on my practice.  Honestly, I can think of a few that do make me cringe, and for a second I'm tempted to stop and hover in the moment, but mostly, I try to embrace the thankful thoughts of knowing I've grown from the feedback.  I'm expecting many more nope-won't-do-that-again moments, but knowing they don't equal failure but instead equal movement forward makes them much more bearable.



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16 comments:

  1. I so admire how willing you are to reflect and grow. Thanks for sharing! I tweeted it.

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    1. Thank you Barbara, and thank you for the tweet. You're good to me.

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  2. It makes a difference how you look at things, doesn't it?
    Sara

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    1. Sara, it does indeed. Dave Burgess is good at challenging our perspective.

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  3. Love this post!! I feel the same way. I am always reflecting and there is always a silver findings. It is just having those glasses on to find it.

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    1. Em, I'm not surprised that you would agree with Dave Burgess. You should read his book. I'm sure you would love it.

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  4. I enjoy your ways of encouraging teachers in their walk of self reflection and growth. Thank you for always being that person who propels people foward!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, oh thank you for thinking that I have that kind of influence.

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  5. My daughter is often heard quoting Samuel Beckett..."Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." What great lessons we can share with our students when our ideas don't turn out as we thought/hoped, but something is still learned. Love your thoughtful Saturday sayings!
    Jenny

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    1. Jenny, "fail better" seems like the key phrase. I like that. Thank you for adding your wise thoughts to the mix.

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  6. We have been studying perseverance and mindset...this quote is being added to our perseverance wall!
    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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    1. Laurie, cool! Dave Burgess would love that.

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  7. Replies
    1. Crystal, thank you for thinking so. :)

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