The Fifth Characteristic of Highly Effective Educators - Setting High Standards & Modeling the Proper Response to Failure

{Some teachers just seem to have it all together – their classroom is always organized, their students are always so well-behaved, and their positive attitude seems positively unshakeable. At times you might wonder,

Why does it seem that some educators are more successful at developing a well-managed classroom? Do these teachers have a certain set of characteristics that automatically set them apart when walking into a classroom?

When it comes to creating an engaging learning environment and a well-managed classroom, there are six characteristics that highly effective educators share... }

Learning From Mistakes for Better Classroom ManagementEffective educators set high standards and recognize that 'failure' is a part of success.

“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work." Thomas Alva Edison (American inventor)

As an educator, you will never hit the mark 100% of the time. You will make mistakes. You will present lessons that flop. You will have days where you feel as if you can't bridge the gap between knowledge and understanding.

You will need to give yourself some grace, realizing that you can only perform to the best of your ability on any given day within the variable circumstances that are thrown your way. Note that your students are watching. They see if you set high standards for yourself and hold yourself accountable for your performance. They also see how you handle personal failures and mistakes. Show them the positive side. Show them how mistakes can often be the stepping stones for success.

In the same vein, your students will never hit the mark 100% of the time. They will make mistakes. They will make the wrong decisions. There will be students who 'just don't get it' the first, second, or even, third time. You will need to have patience, realizing that each different presentation, each new way of looking at the information, is building the foundation for success and getting you closer to the moment that will leave an impression. Remind students that failures and mistakes don't define who a person is; it is what they choose to make of them that truly shows what a person is made of.

Patience and grace are crucial to helping students through personal failure. However, it it important not to mix up a teaching philosophy that encourages risk taking and tolerates acceptable errors that are a natural byproduct when striving for success, with a push-over style that does not set forth high standards nor seek to challenge students. The quote,

“Just because something is difficult doesn't mean you don't have to try. It means you should just try harder,”

is truer than ever. Just because they don't get it the first, or even the second time, doesn't mean they get a free pass!

Educators that set high standards for their students {as well as themselves!} and equip each child with the tools to achieve success - including a positive attitude toward failure - create competent and confident life-long learners that push the limits and strive to be the best they can be.


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