Welcome to the fourth week of the 2017 MTBoS blogging initiative! Remember that you can ALWAYS jump in and blog for any week! You can just start this week, or go back and complete the previous missions if you would like. We would love to have you!
The “We All Fall Down” edition of the blogging initiative!
For the last week of the blogging initiative, we are going to try to push you slightly out of your comfort zone.
As teachers, we are striving to do good by our students. And often times, we post on our blogs things that worked well. Engaging activities, rich problems, neat teaching tips that we invented that save us time and energy, whatever. And as we go through our blog readers, we get inspired! Our minds whirr! And if you’re anything like… all of us… there’s a little tinny voice in your head saying: “Wow, I suck. Everyone else in the world is doing amazing things everyday in their classroom, and I’m falling down left and right. *Pout* *Sadface*”
But here’s the thing: we all are constantly making mistakes every day. Times where we could have made better choices. Mathematical errors that we accidentally teach our kids. Things we said to a colleague or student that wish we could have taken back. Terrible curricular sequencing decisions. Asking bad questions. Facilitating groups poorly. I don’t know about you, but I think I made about (give or take three) a bajillion mistakes each day.
“We all fall down.”
And the thing is: people in the #MTBoS don’t make a point of regularly blogging about mistakes, errors in teaching, poor decisions. It’s compelling to have a great class/activity/moment and want to share it with others. For others, yes, but also for you. There’s a moment of pride when you hit “post.”
What I argue is that although less compelling, sharing those other moments — the failures — is important. For your own reflection, yes. But mainly for others. Yes, maybe others can learn from your mistakes. But I think that it could lead to something bigger: a normalizing of making mistakes/errors/failures as part of our own growth as teachers. Shite that doesn’t go well? Why does that have to be our own private shame? It’s normal. That’s what we want kids to do in their learning process, right? So we in the #MTBoS should do the same!
So here’s your task:
You are going to write a blogpost about one mistake/error/failure you made, and proudly and publicly share that with the world. OR… and this is more ambitious but wow would reading this keep us glued to the screen… keep a log of teaching failures for a day, a few days, or even the entire week… and then publish it!
We recognize that this prompt could make you feel deeply uncomfortable. So we wanted to give an alterna-prompt for you if this is absolutely beyond you right now. (And that is OK!) If you are just not into writing about failures, you should take a photograph of something related to your teaching and write a post using that photograph as the central idea. This is super open-ended, and you should interpret it as you wish!
Deadline: Press submit by the end of the day Saturday, January 28, 2017.
Once you are finished with your blog post, fill out the form below and your blog post will be featured on this site next week!
If you want to know where some of the inspiration for this post came from, it was from a “CV of Failures” that was making it’s rounds around the twitterverse a number of months ago. Here’s an excerpt from an article about the CV:
And here’s the article itself.