Teaching Your Students to Learn from Their Mistakes

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While it's important to teach your students that we all make mistakes and that their error does not affect your opinion of them, it's also essential that children are taught to take responsibility for their actions and process their mistakes in order to learn from them.

As their teacher, you have a great opportunity to help them channel the frustration and disappointment they may be feeling into something more positive.

  • Instead of simply telling your student what they did wrong, turn it into a learning experience by asking them what they think the problem is.
  • Once the problem has been identified, invite your student to brainstorm how they might have avoided the situation or what they might have done differently.
  • Lastly, have your student determine how to make it right (i.e. an apology to the wronged party, redoing the assignment, etc).

While they can't avoid mistakes altogether, your students can certainly learn how to handle those they do make, turning them into something more positive.

Additionally, it's important for your students to recognize that mistakes, when handled positively, are not something they should be ashamed of. That, in fact, they can be building blocks for success. Therefore, they shouldn't feel like they need to hide their mistakes from you. Show them that they can trust you to react in a controlled and helpful manner, holding them accountable for their actions, but also promoting an environment of honesty and understanding. Teach them that the best policy is to own up to their mistakes, make them right, and move forward!


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