So many things I do in life I try to learn from it. I also like to use experiences to help me empathize with others. I guess that comes with the job. Sometimes it is hard to empathize with students when you only see them for an hour a day and you don’t know what is going on in there lives.
So for a week I have had failure after failure. Job opportunity – did not happen, ISTE proposal – did not happen, Edublogs awards – lost, Stats class – not going well, projects kids worked on all week – not as good as I hoped. So it has been failure after failure after failure. I am so down, no matter how bad I do not want to be. It’s Christmas for goodness sake and all I can think about is how professionally I am failing.
After the rejection of ISTE proposal I had a major self inflicted pity party. Luckily when the edublog awards were announced (even though I was so HAPPY for my friends who won & honored to be nominated) I was with a great group of friends (all of whom I met on twitter by the way) so could focus elsewhere. Yesterday I thought and have yet to change my mind, if I stop taking these risk, then I do not have to worry about the hurt of failure.
I still have 9 students who have not turned in their 200 point science project. This is a record, last year I had 25 out of 93 students. But it has been driving me crazy that they haven’t even attempted the project. Every one of these are students already failing my class. Students I have to almost sit on to get to do anything. Students who are SMART and can do the work.
Now I get it, if they are anything like I am right now they probably have the same attitude, why do the work, if it is just not good enough? Why take up the time when I could be doing something I know I am good at? It all makes sense now. They did not do the project because the do not like me or do not like my class. I am sure a few have different reasons, no one to help at home, etc, but I am more confident this could be the reason because with these students I am seeing it over and over.
Before I started writing this post I asked on twitter if people thought Failure was a cycle. No one said no. I got many replies. One of my brilliant colleagues asked if I had ever read Carol Dweck’s work. I had not, but of course googled her immediately. Over and over I am seeing her information about mindset and how that determines success not how smart you are. Think she is on to something, I will be reading more.
I think this failure thing is a cycle. My new goal (though I hate setting goals because of failure!) is to find the best way to change these mindsets. I know I need a positive mindset, it will come eventually.
***To those leaving comments (which is always welcome): If there is no “anti-spam” word when leaving a comment, click “change users” next to the comment box. I will show the :anti-spam” word! I do not understand why it does this.***