If someone was keeping a tally chart of my successes and failures in life, I know the failure column would exceed the success column ten to one. I loathe failure, but failure is vital to success.
When I fail, I find myself in the depths of despair over the failure, I fret, I think, I whine, and then I figure out how to fix it. The fix fails sometimes too. I fret, I think, I whine, you get the picture. However, every once in a while, success happens! Success then encourages me to go after another problem. The cycle repeats until I find a little success again. Failure is constant. Success is rare, but this little rare bit keeps me going.
Failure! Failure! Failure! SUCCESS! This is my teaching career! After six years of working with teachers, I believe reflective thinking makes a difference. Every teacher experiences failures. Students are tardy. Students aren't passing the assessments. Students aren't bringing work to class. Yada...Yada...Yada.... My response is, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?"
Your next step may or may not make a difference, but the teachers who find success are the ones who keep looking for a solution regardless of the previous failures. Often the previous failures lead to success. For example, for two years I tried to help my students increase their basic math skills. Nothing changed! Finally, I asked the students what we could do. One child had a solution and the solution worked year after year after year. I could have given up, but I did not. The failures gave me conversation points for the discussion.
Students need teachers who don't make excuses like "These kids don't read", "These kids don't come to class", "These kids won't do homework", or "These kids just don't care." "These kids" need teachers who are willing to look for solutions regardless of how many times failure occurs. "These kids" need people who believe they can learn, read, communicate, invent, innovate, and lead.
Teaching, real teaching, is HARD WORK. Failure will occur more than success. BUT!!!! When success occurs the impact is tremendous. A child's life changes! If you are failing and are tired, find a group of innovative teachers and surround yourself with believers! Reflect and success will come. If you are succeeding, share and mentor a struggling teacher! If you are making excuses and don't want to change, do the children and the rest of our profession a favor and quit.
I am a teacher, which in a single word, sums up my passions and my belief in the future.