1. Kathy Rose

    Success *is* messy! And sometimes that involves failure. I don’t like to fail, so I wouldn’t say that I “embrace” it, but I need to be willing to fail in my attempt to change things for the better. It may just be semantics, but I *am* OK if I fail–as long as I learn from my failure and keep trying to find a good alternative. That is where resilience and grit come in. I have seen people who are so afraid of failure that they are paralyzed when it comes to voicing their ideas or trying something new. I believe that’s what causes the line to become a plateau rather than an upward march–they would rather maintain the status quo rather than risk trying something new–and possibly failing. So go ahead and try to find the solution, but don’t stop if you fail! Failure is just one of those squigglies on the way to success.

  2. Suji DeHart

    I think that we can embrace failure, but only when a few other building blocks are in place first. One is mutual trust. We must trust that we won’t be penalized for our failure — if we show that it is a part of the learning process (not that we just aren’t trying or that we are just being whimsical or lazy). When I think of trying new things as a teacher, I feel more empowered when I know my admin and my teammates will support me if things go pear-shaped, because they know I am searching for a better way to do something. They trust me to use best practice and data, but to still try to be innovative and find a new approach. Another building block that must be in place is the understanding that failure is only okay when it is a bump on the path to success. It isn’t okay to fail and just say “Oh, okay, I embrace that”. It IS okay to say “Wow, that really blew. I wonder why? I wonder how I can change it to make it work? I wonder if anyone I know has ideas about this, I could ask them…” and the list goes on.
    I like the idea of embracing failure, because it eases the tension of trying to achieve perfection, which I think can be paralzying. But only with a few building blocks in place!

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  4. Paola de Pereira

    Failing…I think of children as they attempt to make take their first steps and how that child is applauded each time she falls. We observe with content and each failed attempt brings joy. With our without support, she continues to try and we continue to cheer as each try is truly a success! Awesome post and inspiring talk!

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