|Ms. Sarah Hunter||
"If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough," most effectively sums up Derek Sivers' message in his YouTube video "Why You Need to Fail." In his video, Sivers presents three main reasons why it's important for a person to fail: Learning, Growth and Quality through Experimentation.
In order to learn, a person needs to fail. It is through the mistakes we make that we learn, because mistakes teach us much more than preparation. Mistakes help us find the difficult in every lesson, and experience and learn from them. I agree with all of the points Sivers makes in regards to learning being an important reason to fail. I think learning through failure is part of the natural process of learning. In other words, while I agree that it is important to include learning as one of the benefits of failure, I don't know that it's a great revelation. I'm also not sure that it can be taught. No one actively tries to fail as a means to learn, it just works out that way to the benefit of the learner.
The growth mindset element of failing is, in my mind, the area that can be taught most effectively. Instead of conditioning learners to believe that talent is innate, there is much more room to grow and thrive when coming from the belief that talent comes from hard work. When we praise children on their effort, it inspires the desire to grow. Whereas, if we praise children on the person or presence of "innate" talent, we teach those children who did not receive such praise that they shouldn't bother to try. Not only do I think this is the most important reason to fail that Sivers addresses, I think this is the one we as teachers must focus on supporting the most.
Finally, the element of quality through experiments teaches that "everything we do is just one option." This comes down to the classic mantra "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Nothing is final, there is no "end" to learning, so we should count experimenting as a branch of failing that invites us to get back up each time we're knocked down.
Overall, while there were no life-changing-teaching-epiphanies presented in Sivers' "Why You Need to Fail," it did offer up some excellent points that I'm sure will come in handy for the many "teaching moments" ahead of me!
Sivers, Derek. "Why You Need to Fail - by Derek Sivers." YouTube. Derek Sivers, 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <https://youtu.be/HhxcFGuKOys?list=PLbRLdW37G3oMquOaC-HeUIt6CWk-FzaGp>.