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Don’t touch the stove

Sometimes we get really worried about preventing a negative outcome and miss the more profound learning opportunity right in front of us.

Failing to pass a standard, meet a deadline, demonstrate effort or use manners might not be desirable situations, but we needn’t desperately default to time-consuming warnings, threats, reminders, prompts and extravagant encouragements to avoid a rather trivial annoyance.

And quite often, the natural consequence of falling short is a more powerful teacher than we are.

As kids ourselves, most of us had several reminders from doting parents about not touching the stove.  And yet, I know how most of us learned that doing so is a bad idea.

Trial and error can be an uncomfortable and sometimes blistering way to learn.  But it’s also valuable learning.

As you plan for learning growth in your students in 2023, don’t forget to place some risks and obstacles in their paths so they can access the thrill of learning quickly and the hard way.

Keep fighting that good fight,

PS. Leaders looking to think differently about their school’s learning culture ahead of 2023 could do a lot worse than grab a copy of “Real Questions For Real School Leaders” at this link.

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