This is just a short
post rant to share with you something Andrew Wright said during his workshop at the IP & SEN SIG Pre-conference day at IATEFL 2017 in Glasgow.
Andrew talked about a boy who having only written a couple of lines for a presentation in class, explained his reasoning with the quote in the title.
For me this represents the mentality many of my students have or are in the process of developing, but more importantly and worryingly it represents the ethos of my country’s education system, and also that of many of my colleagues.
When did we become a race of people scared to take risks? Is this how fire was discovered? Is this how the lightbulb and internet were developed?
When a baby learns to walk does he fall down a couple of times and then decide “this isn’t for me”?
Let us instead praise and celebrate errors, for they are the path to knowledge.
However it’s not just enough to talk the talk, it’s equally important – and more difficult – to share our mistakes with our students, we can’t pretend to be perfect and get all defensive when we get something wrong and expect our students to take risks in the classroom.
Let’s be brave, tell students when you’ve brought the wrong book, or made a mistake on a test or worksheet (play spot the error!). Share stories with them of that cake you made with salt instead of sugar – or is that only me?!