We put a great deal of emphasis on that our schools are failing and that our kids are not learning in schools today. It is true, the American education system is in a triage situation and needs to have attention placed the critical needs. Many parents and teachers are concerned with the fact that students are failing classes, even I am. But take a moment and look at what failing truly is. Does a child learn something by failing? In my opinion, they do. They learn how not to accomplish something. Failing does not mean unsuccessful, but we place great emphasis on the fact that failing is unacceptable. Let’s take a look at some famous failures.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Failure!
At 30 years old, Steve Jobs was forced to leave the company he build from the ground up. Failure!
Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he lacked “imagination” and “original ideas”. Failure!
Oprah Winfery was demoted from being a news anchor because she was “not fit enough for television”. Failure!
Albert Einstein could not speak until the age of 4 and teachers told him that he would not amount to much in life. Failure!
It is important for us as educators to let every student know that failure is just a rehearsal for success. Kids are worried about failing, and they should be, but when they do, and they will, they need to know that they are not failures as a person.
Traditional testing has become very degrading to those students who see a number that is not considered passing. But those same students could go out and fix my truck without much hesitation and go to work as a mechanic and make twice what I do. So which one is the failure, the student who has volumes more knowledge than I about mechanics of machines or me, the guys with two college degrees, two masters degrees, and an almost completed Ed.S?
This reminds me of a Big Bang Theory episode where all four guys were driving and something happened to Leonard’s car. He asked, ” Does anyone here know anything about the internal combustion engine?” Every one of them said, “Yes, tons.” “Does anyone here know how to work on the internal combustion engine?” Their reply, “Absolutely not!” That was three guys who all had terminal degrees and Wolowitz of course (BBT fans will know why that is funny) who had immense knowledge of many things in this world but could not even fix their car. Are they failures? I would say at that moment for that circumstance they were. Again, being a failure at some things is not bad. Failure is just a rehearsal for success. I fail regularly at taking out the trash and helping with the laundry, just ask my wife.