Tech Tuesday: How it Felt to Fail

Each Tuesday, pleasureinlearning brings you Tech Tuesday.  Come back each week for more ways to become efficient and effective in your use of technology. 


Have you ever tried something new? and failed?

I have.

My students have.

Ben Orlin did. (You must read this linked article, even it if means that you don’t read the rest of my post.)

Thinking about my failures is a sure-fire way to reinvigorate my teaching.  It is in those moments of reflection that I’m reminded that I, too, am human and that I, too, once learned what I am teaching my students.

My failures to learn effectively and efficiently are many.  One time I promised an non-profit I would get a certification if they bought me the materials and then I never did follow through. I blew a work project for lack of research. I got a C in Abstract Algebra (and I got that high of a grade mostly because I leaned way too heavily on a friend for help). I didn’t realize until I was approximately 26 that Maine is not a peninsula. In a year after Y2K, I referenced North Vietnam and South Vietnam. (Are you noticing a trend regarding my geopolitical awareness?) Once, or maybe more than once, my husband has endured exceedingly overcooked fish. Even now, I’m probably failing at commas.  With apologies to all of my English teachers, I’ve given up on commas.

Then there was the time I tried to use my husband’s Mac for something. I cursed and yelled because I didn’t know how to do what I wanted to do–me, the computer professor who has a MS in the subject.  I promise you that in the midst of this meltdown, I surely didn’t acknowledge that it was my lack of skill that was the problem! (For the record, his Mac and I have since made peace.)

What I’m reminded of today is how much it hurts to fail. When I’m licking my wounds, that is the last time I want to seek out help.

Now it’s your turn. Take time to seek out a student today. Be compassionate when the students get up the nerve to come to you.


One comment on “Tech Tuesday: How it Felt to Fail

  1. Brian Leslie Coatney says:

    This is all great. My favorite line is the “exceedingly overcooked fish.” In a communications course in the navy, we listened to a talk by a psychiatrist. His patients loved him. One day when he asked them why they like him so much, they replied, “Because you’re just like us.” He was shocked and unnerved, and after some reflection, it resonated with him.

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