Making every fail a win

I discovered that today is National Relaxation Day, and I am all about it. I am relaxing by indulging in (not so)guilty pleasures: getting my nails done, going to the last day of the fair, watching the Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff.

But then I realized that I had not updated my blog in a while, and I felt a little guilty about that. The same way that I felt guilty last night for forgetting to submit a homework assignment for an in-service I have to do for an online teaching gig that I also have. Maybe I should back up just a little bit. For this online teaching gig, students are required to submit the weekly homework assignment by 11:59 P.M. MST Saturday night. I occasionally get late assignments with the standard excuses, which I roll my eyes to (that’s the beauty of teaching online classes; you can roll your eyes when you want to… not that I’d ever roll my eyes at any students in traditional classes, ever). However, this last week we also had to “attend” an online class and submit homework at the same time (11:59 MST Sat. night) and I completely forgot about it until close to 1 a.m.

I scrambled to complete it and submitted it, hoping no one would notice. The same way most students do. And I got to thinking: we always say that the best teachers consider themselves to be students as well. I agree that it is important, which is why I always try to learn something new or be engaged in some project that puts me out of my comfort zone. But who said that we have to be the best students? In fact, perhaps being the type of student that slacks off from time to time helps teachers to stay grounded, to understand where students are coming from, to remind ourselves that expecting students to always be perfect is not realistic.

Now before anyone goes about getting the wrong idea, keep this in mind: I expected my points for that assignment to be deducted, since I turned it in late. They were, and it is fair; I accept full responsibility for that. I expect the same from my students: take responsibility for the times you screw up, accept what is fair, and move on.

I suppose my point is that no matter where you are in life, you should always continue to see yourself as a student, and that your learning never stops. And that being student doesn’t necessarily mean being an A+ student all the time. It does mean that we should always take responsibility for our learning, and understand that we only learn as much as we want to. It also means that it is unrealistic to not expect to fail some times. In fact, I think that if we didn’t fail some of the times, we probably wouldn’t learn as much. And learning from our failures is something that we are responsible for; if we take a failure as a learning opportunity, ultimately we gain more than if we never tried, right?

Oops, I’m running out of time to complete that thought; my ride is almost here for the fair, and deep fried everything is calling my name. I am sure that I will learn some valuable lessons from all that the fair has to offer!

[next day edit]: I did indeed learn a valuable lesson: deep fried oreos and I do not get along.

Also, racing pigs make me incredibly excited:


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