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HOW DO WE FOCUS ON PASS/FAIL IN SCHOOL WITHOUT CREATING NEGATIVITY AROUND MISTAKES - Average AF

"Our goal is to help people be better, not be best"

HOW DO WE FOCUS ON PASS/FAIL IN SCHOOL WITHOUT CREATING NEGATIVITY AROUND MISTAKES

As a kid that faired poorly in the school system I often wonder what could of been had I been able to learn under a different model early in my youth. I know so many people who went through school feeling like failures and told they were stupid (sometimes literally) before they had a chance to understand what it was they were good at. It has horrible consequences on the development of a young mind. I was so disconnected in those years of learning as I chose to pretend I didn’t want to learn rather than face the fact that the system being delivered wouldn’t allow me too. Sometimes trying my hardest for a fail mark hurt a lot more than bludging my way through the day, mostly outside the classroom ;).

As the years have passed I have often run into people I went to school with. The smartest have never really aspired to any levels of greatness that the system said they would. I feel like that almost had to hurt more after completing school as a king or queen of the educational experience only to often realize quickly that the real world didn’t give a rats ass about their report card. Workplaces had so many more dynamics to them than just correct answers and realistically mistakes are often the best way to learn and grow. Something “A” students were really uncomfortable with. So we end up with a workforce full of educated that wont admit when they make a mistake. Or the uneducated that are terrified to do anything for fear of making a mistake and reliving the shit feelings of school and the system that said a mistake is a “Failure”.

On the flip side I know so many that failed miserably, or left school early and have become the best in their trade or industry once the years of self doubt had cleared in their minds. They often took a long time to get over school working mediocre jobs until a passion or hobby finds them realizing they should be in business for themselves or completing a hands on trade or further studies.
But they were the lucky ones who didn’t end up with a terrible attitude, addiction to something or take a totally rebellious nature into the adult world where F#*K the School became F#*K the police. Where at any time in a workplace someone challenged their thought process or decision they spat back fire and often end up bouncing from job to job confirming the voice in their heads that said they were exactly what the teachers and students said.

Teachers are clearly people who got the system and liked it, so went back for more to teach what they learnt. Not to go back and break the model and identify better strategies for all to learn what is being taught. Its a tight circle like all issues

So please don’t think this is me supporting 10th place ribbons. Or taking away A’s and E’s. Just an uneducated opinion on the world of what we are really getting out of the system. As a front line leader of a large workforce I have always struggled to find ways to make the team feel comfortable with asking them why they did something. Identifying where they had made mistakes and the opportunities for improvement without offending them. The moment you trigger their childhood defense mechanism your battle is lost and the educational opportunity is gone. As a leader learning to deal with my own “attack threats” response system it has taken a huge amount of self reflection. Test and retesting for better outcomes. Understanding that they are not pushing back just against me personally. Knowing that they built that wall up a long time before they ran into me. Then finding a way to get the best out of each employee in their workspace as we rebuild the trust that getting it wrong is ok. And learning to identify our mistakes is a must to keep people safe and incidents from occurring.

Don’t fear making mistakes as long as you have the strength to admit it, learn from them and not make the same one thrice. Two seems a bit quick to change a countries mindset.