I just kicked off a unit titled Striving for Success that begins with students responding to quotes about success and failure; one of the following was an option for them:
The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.
— Barack Obama
No matter how many inspirational quotes you read about how necessary failure is in order to achieve success, , though, that doesn’t change the fact that failure sucks.
Nobody gets up in the morning and says, I cannot wait to fail today!
Yet, that neither gets to the point of either of those quotes nor provides the proper context of failure. People desire immediate gratification. I see it in my students who do not want to edit their work, thinking that the production of one very rough draft means the work is done. Taking constructive criticism and making improvements based on it hurts. We do not receive the immediate praise we think we deserve on a piece we put effort into; then, we’re expected to somehow find the motivation to do better?[Read More…]