As a new school year begins, I tend to drift back to my experiences in school as a child. I hated school! During summer vacation, I roamed the woods and fields on my family farm and loved the feeling of escape from timelines, expectations and grades. I used to have nightmares of red pens scribbling all over assignments I poured gut-wrenching hours into, just to receive a borderline C- on.
Basically, I was afraid of failure. My mom was a highly respected principal of a Lutheran school; my dad was a retired Marine with a highly decorated military record, and my older brother was a lifetime honor student.
Does this sound like a few of your students? We have all had students who come to us with a lot of baggage, not to mention a constant fear of failure.
Unfortunately, most of our students have had failures not only in school but throughout their lives.
Broken homes and relationships, unemployment, denied a premium job and the list goes on.
The last thing a potential student wants to hear is the following: failure forges greatness, failure makes you humble, builds character and failure is what happens to you, not what is you. Personally, I would leave immediately!
2020 has been a year of disappointments and adjustments. Teachers and students have experienced the disappointment of non-traditional teaching, HSE testing came to an immediate halt, and not achieving life goals as planned.
Regardless, I continue to look optimistically at the upcoming school year and 2021. I am simply amazed and befuddled to see how adult education teachers have transformed into virtual teaching super-heroes! Zoom meetings, creative teaching, inclusion techniques, and collaboration tactics have surmounted the COVID-19 threat.
So what happens when we experience failure? As one of my incarcerated students, humbly stated, “…we get up and try again because that’s just what we do!”
Jenn is the IAACE Executive Director. Her passion for adult education shines through in everything she does for IAACE. You can invite her to a chat for questions anytime. Click here to book a time to chat with Jenn