Thank you for the #lessonfail

This blog has been accumulating a layer of dust. I could name a lot of reasons (I only teach four hours a week, I’m busy with other projects, and so on) but the truth of it is that I usually blog when I feel motivated by my teaching. And lately, well, it’s felt a bit ‘meh’, and who wants to read ‘meh’?

Well, it turns out that many of us want to read about lessons that are either uninspiring or failures. We want to know that there are others who have the same experiences that we do. That not every class is sunshine and lollipops.

Yesterday, Annie Perkins tweeted the following.

It led to the hashtag #lessonfail (my suggestion of #lessonmeh was far less popular 😏) and a huge influx of tweets of people sharing their own less-than-perfect teaching moments. Because we are all imperfect humans who make mistakes. Often. And we are constantly learning how to be better.

If you are like me, you view your students’ mistakes as learning opportunities, not learning failures. We need to permit ourselves the same freedom to fail, to learn, and to grow. And we need to talk about it with each other, from beginning teachers to those who have been in the game for a long time. I shared two of mine here. Thanks to those who has shared theirs in the last day or two: Annie FAnnie P, BryanChristine, DavidIlonaMadison, Tracy, and those that I missed. And if you aren’t ready to share, I understand that too. It’s hard to expose our vulnerabilities to others, for whatever the reason. Thank you to everyone for warmly responding to those who share. We are stronger together.

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