Making Mistakes

Today I went to my first Edcamp “unconference.” It is different than a normal conference (or professional development in general) because it is participant driven. Each session is run by a facilitator, not a speaker, and full of conversation rather than a presentation. I got to talk to a lot of new, awesome people (something I don’t normally tend to seek out, as quiet and introverted as I can be) and think about a lot of neat ideas.

The thought that has been lingering the most is an amalgamation of so much that was said today about how we learn and grow and how we want our students to learn and grow. When we, as teachers, decide to share something from our classrooms online it is usually something that was successful. We share things that work because we want to help other people. We want to celebrate our wins.

When something isn’t working in my class, I usually only tell Jeremy or my new friend at work Christine ♥, the music teacher. I’ll get it all out to one of them, that allows me to process it, and then I come up with an idea to fix it. I don’t seek out help from people I don’t feel comfortable with and I definitely don’t make it public here. But, if my goal is to fix a problem, my best resource is fellow educators that do what I do every day.

There was tons of talk about being a connected educator today, but are we truly connected if we only show ourselves in the best light instead of reaching out for help? And can we truly help others grow if all they see is (unattainable) perfection?

One of the ideas mentioned was a perfect example. One of the facilitators, Connie Hamilton, mentioned a teacher she knew that would choose one incorrect student response to use as an example. In her classroom, it was an honor to be chosen rather than an embarassment. The class would have to find every correct thing done before finding the spot where the other student went wrong. The goal was to teach students common misconceptions, but also that messing up is ok. Getting it wrong is normal. The next step is just figuring out where you went wrong and how to fix it.

Everything we do is a practice. It is never perfect. It is always evolving, changing, and improving.

Teachers: For us to learn more from each other, we need to share our mistakes. We need to let others learn from our own and let others help us when we make them. It will help us all grow, and we’ll be even more connected because of it!

1 Comment Posted

  1. The concepts you’ve mentioned work in a lot of life situations. Failure and mistakes are where real growth and potential are realized (unless it’s something like skydiving lol)

    The hardest part for me is acknowledging outwardly that I’m wrong. I like to try to talk my way out of it or try to hide the facts away so I appear bulletproof.

    Accept fault > Learn from the event > Grow from it > Move forward > Don’t repeat the mistake (and in most cases) > Inevitably find something new to fail on

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