Resilience is a buzzword that has been around a few years now, but it’s an important one, because it recognizes that there will always be obstacles that need to be overcome, and what’s important is how we react to them.
Here at Waldorf Academy, a Toronto Waldorf school, we don’t judge failure, but learn from it.
If this sounds unusual to you, we invite you to read on, in order to understand better what an effective teaching opportunity it is.
The Point Of Education
Education is designed to prepare children and young adults for their future, and for their interactions as global citizens.
Education is an environment created for them to learn, to experiment, to be curious, and to observe.
Sometimes the learning may break down, but children whose curiosity has been nurtured will be able to objectively observe the experience and learn from it.
At Waldorf Academy Toronto, it’s our goal to ensure that the experience of learning includes all aspects – not just acquiring knowledge and applying it, but learning from when it doesn’t produce the desired results, and how to handle that.
First Attempt In Learning
We look at the word “fail” as an acronym that stands for “first attempt in learning.”
This is an important notion, because it takes the judgement out of failure, and reframes it as an important step in achieving one’s final goals.
Looking At Failure Differently
By reframing failure as an outcome with different consequences, it allows students to experience it in a safe environment.
Their lives will be filled with successes and failures, and the school years are a chance to experiment with what that looks like, while not having to suffer a truly negative impact.
Important Lessons To Learn From Failure
Nevertheless, we DO ensure that they learn from their failures, and it’s built into our methodology.
Read below for some benefits that students get from failing, when directed carefully.
1. Failure Is An Important Teacher
Failure teaches us all what DOESN’T work, which is almost as important as learning what DOES.
Imagine a world without inventors – these are people who have become comfortable with failure, and it has resulted in some serious advances for mankind.
As Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
2. It Makes You A Stronger Person
Resilience is what comes from failure, which is a very important quality for an adult, especially in the pursuit of success.
Martial arts instructors will tell you similar things about your body, but it’s the same theory for your mind: sustaining repeated blows during training strengthens the muscles, the skeleton, and the soft tissues, which will allow them to compete longer and more intensely.
3. It Teaches You Grace
We tell our children to “be a good sport,” but we also don’t give them the opportunity to experience what this means.
When their schoolmates are all held to the same standard, and it’s one that doesn’t involve shaming them for their failures, they learn that it’s acceptable to learn in this way.
By learning grace in the face of failure, it gives them the space to truly analyze what got them there, and to investigate and implement changes to achieve the success they desire.
4. It Doesn’t Have To Be Scary
When children are given the opportunity to experiment with what works, they learn that failure is an outcome with its own consequences.
It makes them more comfortable with the experiment in the first place.
When kids are scared, it prevents them from learning effectively.
5. Sometimes, It’s Beyond Your Control
An important lesson is that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you may not succeed.
A life lesson that even some adults struggle with, circumstances of chance can result in your failure, despite a valiant attempt. Sometimes it’s possible to commit no mistakes, but still lose. But that is not a weakness – it’s part of life.
Contact Waldorf Academy
The Waldorf Academy is a private school in Toronto with a unique and proven approach to education.
Call now for your consultation and tour, and experience our standard of education for yourself.