Failure is an Option

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I am not a big Domino’s pizza fan. I was spoiled as a kid with really good NY pizza. I do like this ad I came across where they use the slogan, “Failure is an option.” Domino’s refers to the cookie pizza as a failure. I am not going to lie, I had it once and it was not bad. I also liked the commercial so much, I tried the new chicken pieces at work one day. Pretty tasty. Back to the message of the commercial. Failure is in fact an option. It is actually a very good option.

I previously tweeted with @BarbaraCorcoran of the show Shark Tank. I was asking her for advice for the young entrepreneurs enrolled in our summer online course. She was gracious to respond and share her wisdom. He advice was perfect. “Don’t be afraid to fail! How quickly you can bounce back is everything.” I wonder if she is working for Domino’s? Great advice from Barbara and a great message from Domino’s.

barbara-corcoran

One of the best ways to learn is to try something new. Sometimes that ends in a cookie pizza failure, or sometimes it ends up being the next best invention. Check out this story on 10 accidental inventions. To quote the great John Wooden, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you are not doing anything. I am positive a doer makes mistakes.” There are countless quotes that can go along with this. Wooden, Domino’s and Barbara Corcoran have it right. Failure is an option. Better yet, learning from failure is the best option. Get out there and be a doer!

Yet

Yet might be the most powerful word in the educators arsenal of language. If it is not in your regular vocabulary, it should be. This time of year gets me thinking back on the last 10 months, especially as we have Montessori and 8th grade graduations coming up. So much growth has happened across all grade levels, yet there is always more to learn and more growth to take place. Graduations mark an end and we often associate “ends” with finished products. There is nothing finished about a 6-year-old or a 14-year-old for that matter. They are all works in progress. They may not have achieved at their highest levels, yet, but they will.

Yet is a powerful word because it explicitly implies that there is a belief that the child will get there, even when they may struggle with something. It sends a message that we believe in the child and want to be part of that “arrival.” We can use an example like, “Johnny has not mastered his times tables.” Better said, “Johnny has not mastered his times tables, yet.”

Yet applies to us as adults too. I am a firm believer that I will always be a “learner.” A finished product I am not, and to be honest, I don’t think I ever want to be. I love to share what I have learned with anyone who will listen, yet there is still so much more to learn. There is that word again. Whether it is reading, writing, watching an episode of “Mythbusters” or engaged in a conversation, I know I can and will learn more and something new.

As we get ready to embark upon a time of year to celebrate the “finishing” of school with graduations, let us do so with joy, knowing that so much has been learned and accomplished. Let us also be mindful that we have not accomplished or learned “everything”, yet. Yet gives us hope and a fire to learn more. It also gives our hand to those that need it when words like “can’t” , “won’t” or “isn’t” creep into dialogue. So, celebrate the year and keep the word yet readily available. And, use it liberally.

Trying Something New

I tried something new a few weeks back. It is called EdCamp. Most conferences I go to have a well planned out itinerary with a “big book” that lists all the sessions. I usually find a few that interest me and bounce from session to session. I have even presented at a few. Little did I know when I attended EdCampMetroDC a few weeks ago I would actually be sharing at the session.

I showed up at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart on a Saturday morning and the “Big Board” was already out. Educators from all over the DC area were in attendance and starting to put Post-Its up on the session board. This was the first I learned of what would be presented that day. Many of us stood there as if we were looking at the train schedule in Grand Central Station. The difference was this board wasn’t just telling you what the schedule was going to be. It was more interactive.

train grand central

Since I am still a big fan of Post-Its, I drew up the courage to share in one of the sessions. I wrote down my topic and posted it on the board. I was a little nervous but also excited to share in a session talking about financial literacy in schools.

The first session I attended was about using twitter as a professional development tool. It was great to hear and see ways people were using it to support growth. The session on financial literacy was great as well. I was able to share my experience and learn about what others were doing in their schools or planned to do. It was a great way to network and I have since set up meetings with some of the people I met there.

All in all it was a great experience I hope to be part of again. It got me thinking too (which is a dangerous thing). Why can’t we do EdCampWoods? What a great way for our teachers to share out as we start the year with professional development in August. Please take a moment to fill out the form below. Stay tuned for our experts and what they will share.