Permission to Fail

blogging alongside my students

Often as teachers, we are scared of failure. We might preach to our students that it’s ok to fail, you can make mistakes but you try again. We say it’s all part of the learning process, but do we give ourselves that permission?

The deep ingrained fear of failure has followed me for a while since I was young. I still remember when I got cut from the middle school basketball team,  I literally just stopped playing basketball after that. All the passion and love I had for the sport just disappeared when I didn’t see my name on the team roster.

Today,  I find myself in the classroom, encouraging my students to be part of this incredible writing challenge. A challenge that I have so often joined as a writer. Some years, I admit that I stopped writing. I gave up too easily.  I was tired, exhausted, and didn’t want to write after work and during my spring break. At times, I didn’t even try. I felt hypocritical. Making my students do something, that I wasn’t doing.

So here I am, a little bit older and wiser. I think it might even be year #8 of participating in this challenge. I’m going to write alongside my students. And, yes, I’m going to give myself permission to fail.

It’s not too late to join us on this writing challenge! Check out more details at The Two Writing Teachers !

13 thoughts on “Permission to Fail

  1. Michelle Haseltine says:

    I love the title of your blog post! “Permission to Fail” is essential as a writer. We talk about this all the time in my middle school classroom. I’m glad you’ve returned. Happy Slicing!

  2. mrsday75 says:

    I second Elsie–Yay! You are back. I always like to keep up with the slicers who started when I did. Can’t wait to read more!

    You are braver than I when it comes to encouraging students to join the challenge. It’s not something I ever tried when I was in the classroom. I hope some of your kiddos join yuo!

  3. standingtall47 says:

    I love this! I too preach to my students that it’s ok to fail but never take my own advice. By no means am I a perfectionist but I don’t often push myself. So here I am too…giving myself permission to fail. Afterall, it’s better to try and fail than to never try at all.

  4. mel marie says:

    I have had an interesting journey with the permission to fail myself. As soon as I started to teach my students about ‘growth mindset’ I found I needed to try it out myself. I started a blog. I started a podcast. I forced myself to drive (and get lost, a huge ‘failure fear’ of mine!) more often. Not everything I have completed or stuck to, however, which is interesting in itself, as it brought up a ‘fear of not finishing’! But I learned so much from trying it out that I am working on letting that go, too. Good luck with your challenge!

  5. Alice Nine says:

    Your title drew me into your slice. Several years ago, before I was blogging, a stranger challenged me to write at 2X2 sticky note every day and post it in my journal. That was all I had to do. And that was all it took to get me started. I continue to do that on the days when my time or energy or thinking feels short-changed or short-circuited. Here’s to 30 more slices!

  6. Michelle @litlearningzone says:

    I have to agree as well. What we say and what we do don’t always match up … Bravo for jumping into the challenge again this year alongside your students! I’m happy to see another familiar face from eight years ago … can you believe it? Enjoy writing and reflecting on failing and writing more!

  7. Ashley ❤ (@AshleyLS_16) says:

    Modeling how to handle failure is so important. In my role as a coach, I face teachers daily who struggle with the idea that something they might do is wrong, or what if someone questions what I am doing. I need to think more carefully for how I can model for them how I respond to professional failure, similarly to how I modeled it for my students when I was teaching. Good for you for upping the ante to be an amazing model for your students – they will learn so much from you!

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