Failing Often

I fail all the time. My favorite teachers to work with collaboratively are those who fail. Failure means you’re willing to try something new. Willing to step outside the box. Willing to have your kids make mistakes. And more often than not, in between the failure comes great success and more possibilities.

Second graders and I are working through a Fables unit this month and today we were reading Fables by Arnold Lobel. (Well, we were trying to read it, but the barometric pressure was not holding steady today and there was a rash of kids who needed to use the restroom, play with their neighbor’s hair, and do impromptu floor spins. We got past all of that, and I found the sweet spot in the lesson when I could read. I love it when that happens!)

So, we read the story of the Baboon who meets the Gibbon and is told to cut holes in his stuck-open umbrella so he can get some sunshine. And then we move on to the fable of “The Young Rooster.” If you’ve never read this delightful collection of fables you should find it. I’ll wait. Okay no–I’ll tell you: the rooster must carry on the duties of his father and crow up the sun. Sounds simple, right?

Failure his first time out. His crow is just a poor squawk and the sun does not come out. The barnyard animals come to complain and I imagine the rooster wasn’t feeling so hot after that. If I were the rooster, I would bury myself in my couch under some blankets with a cup of hot chocolate and reruns of Big Bang Theory (I’m a geek).

But the rooster isn’t me. And it is a fable, so you know there’s a lesson coming.

The rooster goes out to try again the next day. He crows the loudest rooster-crow EVER and rah-rah-happily-ever-after! Success!

Failure happens because I try. When I quit failing is when I quit succeeding. I hope I’m always a failure.

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