Failure is not an option

Every school is passionate about getting their students to succeed, and some are more successful at encouraging, nurturing and supporting than others.

For me there seem to be two distinct approaches to this.

Option 1 is “We will not let you fail”. These teachers will put huge amount of time and resources to ensuring their kids do well. They’ll lay on extra classes, support, and encourage. Teachers will pour in hours of time, and buckets of effort to help their students succeed. Nerves may fray as they see students taking advantage, but through sheer dedication and professionalism they’ll make it work for the kids.

Option 2, however, is “We will not allow you to let yourself fail”. These teachers will have incredibly high expectations, and put in hours with the kids. They will encourage and nurture the students to develop a work ethic. They will model the hard work necessary to break through problems. They will work hard with students to help them diagnose their own problems and learn the tools to improve. Frustration may grow as they try ever more ways to get kids to see the light, but through sheer professionalism and determination they’ll teach the kids to work it out for themselves.

I would never condemn option 1, but I don’t know how sustainable it is. I think students genuinely appreciate both, and when they’re really down they’ll need some direct intervention to pick themselves up.

Let’s inspire our students to dream, and teach the tools to realise them.

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