Some people are afraid of heights, while others are terrified by spiders, but perhaps the most common fear that humans have is the fear of failure. It’s that one thing that has the ability to immobilise us emotionally, make our stomachs feel queasy and induce panic all at once. As part of our learning in school, children fail and make mistakes and slip-ups all the time. So how should we deal with failure in school?
We should embrace it.
There are many reasons why one might choose to see failures and mistakes in a positive light, but the simplest is this: mistakes happen and they happen a lot and the classroom is not immune from this. Children are going to make errors all the time during their school day, but we explain to them that these mistakes are the evidence that they are learning.
When something doesn’t go to plan, whether it be coding with Lego in the robotics lab or juggling with different pieces of information to solve a math problem, our students understand that they need to adapt and alter their thinking and try something else.