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September 25, 2019

“Confident vulnerability” takes the fear out of failure

Learning requires failure.

There is no way around it. If our students are not trying and failing at times, they are not stretching themselves, and we as educators are not pushing them to reach for more. When they try, fail, and try again, they learn from the mistakes of the past and try new approaches. They also learn non-academic lessons about persistence and determination that will serve them throughout their lives.

But failing is hard. It means we did not achieve what we were hoping to, and often leaves us questioning our ability to succeed at all. To ensure that we create an atmosphere of teaching and learning in which students and teachers feel safe and eager to try, fail, and try again, at Guilford Public Schools we work to model an attitude of “confident vulnerability” from the top down.

– Paul Freeman, Superintendent of Guilford Schools (CT) for SmartBrief.


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