We have all heard by now that failure is a great teacher. Once parents and students accept this, grades will reflect growth, not judgment; God will be in His heaven and all will be right with the world.
The one component I “failed” to account for was the necessity of failure to my own learning curve. To what degree have I acknowledged failure as my own teacher?
Here is what failure is teaching me this year:
I am prepared for everything except the next thirty seconds.
It never works twice.
My most brilliant students will miss The Second Coming if it occurs in print.
I keep forgetting that classics must be read aloud and with enthusiastic slowness.
Students can do fine without me; students cannot do fine without me: I will never know which day one of these statements is true – I will always guess incorrectly.
Why Tweet when you can Type?
There is still no point in commenting in writing on a student’s paper.
No amount of literature or dialogue will widen a narrow mind.
Now, I am not discouraged by any of this. Perhaps my new-found wisdom will help me to make New Year’s resolutions to be a better teacher. mainly it serves to remind me that whatever I thought they were learning today, they actually learned something else. The very unpredictability of teaching, the Michael Crichton factor of chaos theory (substitute this week’s aluminium foil Mechanical Hound for T-Rex) is what brings me back engaged daily.
In the vain laughter of folly wisdom hears half its applause.