One quality of the Connected Educators movement that I like is its pro-innovation mindset that encourages healthy failure. The Silicon Valley model is to “fail forward” and fail fast, then learn from your mistakes and move on to the next iteration. Today I learned that I wasn’t chosen for an internal position for which I had applied, and this was a good opportunity for me to practice failure. I know that I made choices in my application and interview that hurt my candidacy, and I can learn from them. The other candidates were formidable, and I can hold my head high knowing that I pushed myself and took a chance.
Teachers need to model failure. Most often we say this in reference to class work, but our students also apply for leadership positions, jobs and internships, and ultimately college admission. Along the way they experience rejection and disappointment. My students aren’t even aware that I applied for a position and learned that I didn’t get it, but I can still model healthy failure by staying classy and doing my job with a smile. Setbacks, both large and small, don’t define us.