So why don't students view their mistakes as valuable assets? Well, students don't think about their mistakes rationally -- they think about them emotionally. Mistakes make students feel stupid. "Stupid" is just that: a feeling. Specifically, it's the feeling of shame, and our natural response is to avoid its source. If we say something embarrassing, we hide our face. If we get a bad grade, we hide the test away. Unsurprisingly, that's the worst move to make if you ever want to get better. Academic success does not come from how smart or motivated students are. It comes from how they feel about their mistakes. READ MORE HERE“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein When we’re small children, our mistakes are applauded. Our falling-down attempts to walk for the first time are cheered by our parents, giving us the courage to get up and try again. When we accidentally put our shirt on backward, people smile and praise our independence. At this age, the world teaches us that failure is merely part of the journey to success. But when we get to school, we quickly learn that mistakes are bad. Answers are right or wrong, true or false, bubbles to be filled in with a Number 2 pencil. The risk-taking that used to be rewarded is now punished, and we either give up or learn to stick with safe answers. Unfortunately, this black-or-white thinking doesn’t encourage learning. Instead, it fosters a fear of failure and discourages ingenuity. READ MORE HERE Here are three quick adjustments that ELISABETH MORROW SCHOOL recommends you can use daily to help your child (and yourself):
- change “I can’t” to “I can if”
- change “why bother fixing it?” to “so if I find a way”
- change “see, it happened again” to “see, it worked”
Deliberate practice involves isolating what is not working and figuring out how to make it work. Practice for the sake of practice can be a big waste of time. Through positive language, trust building, neutral feedback, and emotional neutrality, we all have a shot at helping our children stick with things so that they may have a chance to become experts in something they love! READ MORE HERE
And check out our recent blog on risk taking and too much praise...