How do innovators rise above the fear of failure? It has been ingrained in most of us since we were little that failure is a bad thing and should be avoided. When I reflect on where that fear of failure came from in my personal life I would have to say two sources; school and my parents. Sometimes
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I understand that to innovate in education I have to embrace that fear. That's tough when you have been an educator for awhile and people expect you to be the "expert"; to have it all figured out. When something I try doesn't work out I feel like an imposter, like a failure. It is hard to get out of that failure mentality when it has been perceived as such a negative in learning all of my life. I think we need a new word. The term failure has such a negative connotation I don't know that it can ever be redeemed or redefined as a positive.
This year I am practicing what I have been preaching. To innovate means to try new techniques, fail, iterate and try again until I find the process that works. I am part of a team that believes that blended learning models will allow us to leverage technology to create personalized learning for students that will help them succeed in Algebra I. We are piloting this with 2 classrooms and will be comparing data with non-blended classroom models. We have already hit some challenges that we did not plan for and some days I feel that anxiety of doubt creeping up my spine and tightening its grip around my heart. I don't like that feeling, nobody does but it is a feeling I'm committed to pushing through in order to be a part of team willing to challenge the status quo. We will be blogging about this as a team of teachers, administrators, directors and hopefully a few students to share our successes and challenges throughout this learning process. I am hoping that being a part of the Innovator's Mindset MOOC will provide me a networking opportunity with others who are facing the fear factor of failure and embracing it as we strive to innovate our practice and meet the needs of today's learners.