27 Aug

Fear of Failure

I spend a lot of my time experimenting.  On any given day, some of my kids don’t get it, whatever “it” might happen to be that day.  And so I have to do things differently.  I have to change my approach.  I have to get better at this whole thing.  So I try something different.  And it works or it doesn’t, and I adjust accordingly.  Rinse and repeat.  Until all of the students get whatever you teach them all of the time.

The problem with this sort of experimentation is that it assumes failure.  And failure is so very hard to accept.  For the obvious reasons.  But also because of this: my failures as a teacher come at the cost of real students.

Sometimes, it just seems like it would be so much easier to believe that [singing at the top of my lungs] “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!!!”  To believe that I have no room for improvement.  And therefore everything I do is the best it can possibly be.  Any kids I don’t reach don’t matter.

This reflection business is a drag.

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