Embracing Mistakes with a New Weekly Routine

Over the last 11 years in the classroom, I’ve had the same teaching schedule exactly zero times. Every time August rolls around, it’s a different ballgame. Some years the shifts are subtle. In other years they’re quite dramatic.

Within each year, I’ve never taught more than two sections of the same course. In fact, one year I taught seven different courses. (Assuming, of course, that you’ll allow me to count Algebra 2 Honors as distinct from Algebra 2.)

With all of this variety from year to year (and class period to class period), I’ve come to rely on classroom routines not only to preserve my sanity, but also to challenge myself to pursue growth.

The latest initiative I’m considering? It’s right in line with my recent bent on extracting every ounce of growth-mindset goodness from the abundance of mistakes we (teachers and students) all make in the classroom.

With that background in mind, here’s what I intend to put in front of my students (and myself) during the last few minutes of class each Friday for the rest of the semester.

helpful-mistake

There’s no guarantee I’ll stick with this routine, or that we’ll benefit from it. But I am holding out hope—on both counts, in fact.

As for my actual goals with this prompt, I’m looking to further develop my students’ growth mindset. In particular, I want to foster a sense—across the entire classroom—that mistakes are actually opportunities, and that they can help launch us into the next level of awesome-ness.

As for sharing my thoughts here… There’s a sense of commitment that comes with writing about something.

I’m counting on you to hold me to it in the comments.

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