“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
~ Michael Jordan

Failing at something is discouraging. There’s no doubt about it. I try to find different ways to help my students learn to cope when they’ve failed to get the mark they wanted on a project, failed to get chosen for the school team, failed to ….etc. Many of my students aren’t very resilient. When they meet with failure, they just give up. Their low self-esteem just get’s stronger and stronger, and they’re willing to try less and less. I try to encourage them, but sometimes I feel me just talking it isn’t enough. That’s why when I come across things on the net like the video Famous Failures I’m delighted. I’ll bookmark the video using Delicious and then I’ll have it when I want to show it in September when we’re back at school.

Do you know of any other videos that I could use with my grade 9/12 students to motivate them? I’d really appreciate it if you’d send me the link. Thanks.

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5 Responses to “Helping kids deal with failure”

  1. Ben on July 13th, 2009 1:18 am

    Hi there.

    IMHO this video would work quite well if you have a potted history/biography of each name mentioned. Also some quotes from each person may help as well.


    “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

  2. Elona Hartjes on July 13th, 2009 8:52 am

    Thanks for the suggestion. When I show this to my students, I’ll do what you’ve suggested.

  3. Kyalamboka Brown on July 16th, 2009 9:54 pm

    I found an article on the web that lists tips to help students deal with failure:


    I would also suggest sharing some of your own personal failures with class and how you dealt with your failures. Knowledge of a teacher’s personal experiences can mean a lot to students.
    .-= Kyalamboka Brown´s last blog ..Resources in My Future Classroom =-.

  4. Judy Wearing on July 30th, 2009 3:31 pm

    HI, I just wrote a book about failure, called Edison’s Concrete Piano, which will be available October 1st.
    Recognizing the application of the lessons it holds for youth, I’m developing lesson plans on failure and other subjects contained within the book, suitable for grades 7-12, and to be made available for FREE download from the web site. There is a list of the 40 or so lesson plans up already.
    (more info at http://www.concretepiano.com)

  5. david on August 26th, 2009 3:05 pm

    i know IDEO’s book – the ten faces of innovation

    speaks about the effect of having a

    symbolic way of “flushing the feeling of failure out”

    they talked about how once a underperforming college sports team implemented symbolic ways of flushing failure out of their heads they actually went from the bottom on to winning the national championships that year.

    i found it interesting

    in this example – they actually would having something to use after they would strike out at plate and if the team lost the game they would stand in a circle and throw their uniforms in the middle to sort of “expunge” the game.

    with stricking out – thye also had a little toy toilet that had fake flushing sounds and everything – so when t hey struck out they would walk up and throw the strike out in the head and symbolicly flush it away.

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