Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thoughts on Failure

I failed a class.  I tried to not fail a class.  I tried really hard, but still I failed.  I've never failed a class before, although I've done not as well as I hoped I would.  It feels different.  It's unfamiliar and it's uncomfortable.  This is what I've been learning (or trying to learn) about failure...

1. Failure has nothing to do with personal character.  I failed something, but that does not make me a failure.  I continue to struggle with this a lot.  I have to consciously tell myself that this is true.

2. Sometimes We're Not Ready For Certain Challenges.  And that's okay.  We can't be good at everything we do, although we certainly can and really should try to do so.  But you can't get up off the couch and expect that you'll be able to run a full marathon without facing any repercussions.  I know from what I've learned while teaching that it's important to scaffold students and work within their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).  That is, learners need to be able to see the next stepping stone and feel confident that they'll be able to make it to the next step on the road to mastery.  It's not that I was incapable and now I know that it wasn't because of my emotional state, this failure is because I just wasn't ready (in part).

3. Failure is an Opportunity for Growth.  I have learned a thing or two about what I can do next time in a great effort to not fail.  I know that I need to ask for help sooner, even if I'm not entirely sure what I'm asking for help with.  I know that I need to help myself learn as much as my professors are there to help me learn.  I know that I need to find a good way for me to process information and more importantly, I need to make time to process that information.

I'm still not comfortable with the fact that I didn't do well in a class at all, but I'm getting more comfortable with the fact that there's nothing left for me to do but move forward from this point.  And that's okay.

Thanks for Reading.


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