This is one of my favorite chapters yet and it really made me think of how my kiddos, specifically some of my gifted kiddos, respond to failure. This is the population of kiddos who have heard their whole lives how “smart,” they are and for a lot of gifted kiddos it is important to look “smart” at all costs. Failure is handled very differently depending on which mindset you have.
My goal this past year was to get my students to see failure as a lesson and to understand that taking a chance or not getting something right away doesn’t make you a failure. This quote was from one of my gifted kiddos after a particularly challenging day of problem solving in math.
“Our goal is to encourage students to internalize the belief that their own actions and behaviors, not external factors, guide them to achievement or failure.” –Mary Cay Ricci
This part of the chapter was very convicting for me. I have been thinking for a while now that I need to revamp the whole clip chart/prize system thing. I like being able to reward students for positive things in my classroom but I really want my students to see that accomplishing a task, especially a challenging one, should be a reward in itself.
It made me think of those times that we play a class game or do something challenging and the question comes up, as it always does, “What do I get if I win?” I always respond that you get the satisfaction of winning or completing the challenging task, and for some that is enough. Now I see that those are my kiddos who are in a growth mindset.
What do you use in your classroom to manage behavior and/or reward students?
So, how can we help our students respond to failure appropriately and see failure as a chance to grow.
Teachers can help students when they make errors by:
- help students interpret errors as “data,” that will help them
- ask students what strategies they have used
- ask students what other strategies they could try
Moving forward, my goals are to reevaluate my behavior management/reward system and to help my students see failure as information to use moving forward. Lots to think about!
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