Perfectionism is the enemy of learning. Part of the challenge of a new school year is creating a climate where failure is a gift. People who never fail probably never risk enough to learn. If you stay in your safe little rut, you may be “successful” within the narrow parameters of that space, but you will never learn to soar. Challenge is a necessary condition for learning and with challenge comes the possibility for failure.
This year I am using the book The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes as my opening read aloud. you can learn more about this book in an interview with author Gary Rubistein here.
This book emphasizes that making mistakes can often be a fun and interesting path to new ideas and thinking. Teachers and parents must also model this mindset by admitting their own failures honestly in the classroom. When things are not going well, it is an opportunity for community learning. If we want our students to take risks, we must model that behavior ourselves. We should all be learning every day, so let’s celebrate our failures because that is when the new learning can begin.