The Epic Fail

From my my class blog. I wrote for my students, but I also wrote it for myself…

At the end of today’s first period, I proclaimed class “an epic fail.” We’d been working on our bushido projects, creating some really awesome SpicyNodes. Then disaster struck! Ok, maybe not disaster, but all the sudden people’s nodes started disappearing or not saving. The culprit was likely the fact that several students were logged on to a particular username at the same time. (Now who would have told you to do that? Oh yeah, that was me 🙂

A couple of thoughts I had after class…

In life, things rarely go perfectly. Thomas Edison said about his initially failed attempts to create the light bulb, “I have not failed. I have merely found 1,000 ways that didn’t work.” As teachers, we would be cheating you, giving you a false view of the world you will encounter if we created conditions where there was no failure. We’d also be depriving you of the opportunity to do some really cool things.

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Experiencing failure often makes things easier the next go-around. While losing work was definitely frustrating for first period students, their “learning experience” helped me figure out how to do things better when seventh period rolled around. I also bet that for first period students who have to re-do their SpicyNodes, it will go faster the second time around.

It matters how you tell the stories of your failures. I purposely declared the class an epic fail, rather than just a fail. The word epic comes from a Greek word meaning word, speech, or poem. An epic is something you tell- a story of an adventure or journey. Epics bind together people who experience them. Now you may be thinking, Seriously?! Ms. Stewart, aren’t you putting too much thought into this? Wasn’t it just a bad class everyone wants to forget? But I’ll tell you that by lunch several people had told me that they’d heard that I’d said that first period was an epic fail, so I knew that people were telling the story.

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3 thoughts on “The Epic Fail

  1. I love this post. I think it is so important to admit the “fail” moments in the classroom. It shows that it is not the end of the world and that the next time would be even better.

  2. Oh my gosh, Meredith…this same thing happened to me once while using Animoto to make image presentations with poems. I had all log in with the same user name and then disaster struck as they all ended up editing each other’s slide shows.

    I think it’s great that you shared with students…they need to see people like us understand and learn from failure. We are models for them in all that we do.

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