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Justine Bricheno is the Senior Leader of Logistics at the British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park.
How do we encourage our children to be innovative risk takers? A great question to pose as a movie about one of my favorite innovators, Steve Jobs, was released this month. The answer, I believe, lies in not being afraid to fail.
In the words of Miles Davis – “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” I was reminded of this quote whilst teaching a class of Year One students in school this week, as they gently explained to me that it’s okay to make mistakes, as you can learn from these. Also, it means that you have been successfully challenged in your learning. In their eyes, satisfaction comes from having the confidence to puzzle through a problem, being curious and asking questions, tapping into their creativity and exploring through play or role playing with friends. A far cry from my school days, sitting in silence in the third row at my wooden inkwell desk, where thinking out of the box resulted in a trip to the principal’s’ office – as you might imagine - I was there quite often!
Here, at the British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park campus, we encourage our students to “leap and the net will appear.” Here, learning is a fluid process where children are free to choose their level of challenge in lessons, encouraged to push the boundaries and take risks. Support or guidance is on hand, should this be required, and it is a joy to see the confidence our children have in taking responsibility for their own learning in school, from the oldest, right down to our young Nursery students.
I will leave you with this Steve Jobs ‘word cloud’ to ponder and invite you to join with us as we keep leaping!