We have heard it time and again…”Failure is not an option.” I would like to argue that point for a bit. Many see failure as a bad thing. In my opinion, failure is only bad if you stop trying after you’ve failed.
Failure has ultimately led to some of the greatest discoveries and inventions our world has ever encountered. Failing can be a good thing if you learn from it and apply that knowledge to try again. In many cases you can learn more from failure than you can from success.
Your teachers and students will become much more successful if they know it is OK to fail. A culture must be created in the classrooms, and in the schools as a whole, where students are comfortable with trying something new and knowing that if they are not successful they are still learning. I am not saying we need to celebrate failure, but we can still welcome it and learn from it. Celebrate what was discovered in the attempt. Failing should not discourage you…it should motivate you to try again, armed with the knowledge you took away from your last attempt.
As teachers and administrators, do not be afraid to fail in front of your audience and own up to it…learn from it. There is a fear that failing in front of others will cause you to lose some of the respect we work so hard to earn. If you are pushing the envelope trying something new, and if you have built a solid relationship with your group, you will gain respect with the effort and the honesty. That’s a key to leadership at any level.