Set Yourself Up For Failure in 2014

Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable IMG_0469to change.”

So with this in mind I would like to recommend that you set yourself up for failure this year. Setting yourself up for failure doesn’t mean accepting failure. To me, it means taking a risk and trying something new. It means moving away from something you’ve been doing the same way for a long time. It means going out on a limb and getting out of your comfort zone. It means opening yourself up to all the wonderful possibilities that exist.

As educators we find ourselves in this exciting time of rapid change. We need to adapt to that change. There is no better time than now to commit to doing something that might just fail. You may have to go back to the drawing board and try it a second time. It might not work out the way you had hoped the second time either. But you have to try. You owe it to your students and to yourself. Print off this contract, sign it, and attach it to the wall near your desk:



Want some ideas? I suggest you try one or more of these:

  1. Project-based Learning.
  2. Flip your lessons.
  3. Allow your students to use their devices for learning.
  4. Blog with your students.
  5. Try a Mystery Skype.
  6. Set up a class Twitter account.
  7. Collaborate with a teacher in a different school. (or even a different country)
  8. Incorporate more peer and self assessment.
  9. Start student digital portfolios.
  10. GAFE.

So what are you waiting for? When you walk back into your classroom in 2014, commit to pushing your practice to new heights. Pick somethingIMG_0206 new and innovative and give it a try. Set yourself up for failure and watch yourself grow. You won’t regret it.

Happy New Year!


Categories: Capacity Building, Education Transformation | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Set Yourself Up For Failure in 2014

  1. Great post Greg. Not just the idea of setting yourself up for failure by taking the risks but more importantly looking to change things up. Like many of your other blogs, this will be shared with my staff. Contract is a neat touch as well. I know we’ll be talking about this soon but my #11 on the list is going to be genius hour: an idea to have students take true ownership of their learning.

    Of course, any risk is only possible for some if a safety net is there underneath them and it’s clear that you provided that as a principal and now as ass’t supt.

    Best to you for 2014 as well.


  2. Well done, Greg! I’m a big proponent of taking risks, reflection, and learning. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Well done, Greg! Risks, reflection, and revision are a must as learners and educators. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Patricia

    Happy New Year to you, Greg…just read your blog as Roy included it in a link to staff, and would like to thank you for pointing out that failure is part of the process…as much for teachers as for students.Imagine the deeper thinking skills that will evolve from having failed? Hmmmm….failure=learning! A valuable read…thanks Roy and Greg!


    • Shawn Allison

      Love this post! I’m always trying to explain that in the real world/outside of the classroom that it’s those that fail several times and learn that are the most successful! I’m trying to convey that idea and give more opportunities for failure/learning/success.


  5. Pingback: January 27-31 | WIS Staff Blog

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