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  • Writer's pictureJudy

June 4, 2023: Own the Failure; Share the Win.

As the Spring 2023 semester wrapped up at the university where I teach, there was a reception to bring together some of the graduating students with the faculty that have been part of their journey.

It was wonderful to spend some time outside of the classroom with these future educators. We laughed. We reminisced. We celebrated their new positions as teachers. Some even asked for advice.

My best advice is pretty simple: Own the Failures and Share the Wins.

As a teacher, you will have many of both. As a beginning teacher, you will likely have more failures than wins. It will be important to remember that failure is not fatal. We all have our share. Even veteran teachers with years of experience, rack up failures every year. (I can personally attest to this!) But there are also wins, right there alongside those failures, that somehow bring balance to our lives and our work.

Own the failures.

Whether the lesson you painstakingly created crashed and burned, or a parent conference went off track, or you forgot to turn in a very important document to your administrator on time. Own it.

- Don’t make excuses for it

- Apologize and acknowledge the failure

- Fix it (if possible) and move on

- Learn from it

Share the wins.

Whether your formal observation was flawless, or your class data is strong, or your most challenging student has turned in all their homework this week. Share the win. There are others who somehow contributed to this win. Share this win with them.

- Acknowledge others’ roles

- Thank those who made it possible

- Be humble

- Learn from it

Wins and losses are both part of the tapestry of our careers as teachers, and they need each other to give our lives the balance that helps us grow. Embrace and learn from them both.

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