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How well are you failing?

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison’s successful inventions have changed the way we live, but it is in his failures that he learnt the big lessons of life.  If those first failures were allowed to define him, I wonder what this extraordinary man might have left as his legacy?  What Thomas Edison had in spades, was resilience.  He was highly skilled at bouncing back despite the reported thousands’ of failures.

Resilience is a subject getting a lot of attention at the moment.  Schools are leading the charge in this space and at this time of the year when the kids are tired of us and we are sick of them, there isn’t a great deal of resilience left in the tank.  Unfortunately, it is at this time of the year we need it the most.  Reports, planning, end of year clean up, tired kids and the odd difficult parent, can have us at breaking point much sooner than we might have planned.

The great teachers that I have had the pleasure of working with, dealt with adversity by facing it, reflecting on it and moving on to the next challenge or bouncing back.  It is this feedback loop that allows huge opportunities for growth.  These teachers have grown into fabulous teachers and see setbacks as temporary, rarely spending much time lamenting the failure.

So, with school winding up in most states over the next fortnight, it is an opportune time to reflect on the year that was and your ability to overcome the hurdles you have faced in 2017.  As you reflect, do it through the eyes of your students.  Your students are incredibly perceptive and they learn so much through observation.  What would they have observed this year as they watched you go about your business of teaching?  Have you set the resilience example for them?  What might you commit to doing better in 2018?

We learn so much more from our failures and if we are open to the internal or external feedback the potential for growth is enormous.

Might I add there is some feedback coming my way as my wife and I host Christmas at our house in a few weeks time. I am in charge of cooking the ham and the feedback could be swift and brutal.  It is through this feedback that the ham can only be better in 2018.  Don’t you wait that long!



When I get the opportunity to ask Teachers and School Leaders around Australia “Do you think we have an issue with Respect in Australian schools?” the answers are, predictably, a resounding “Yes” from the majority of the room.That isn’t to say there’s no Respect in our schools, nor is it to say that we have no Respectful students or that we aren’t trying exceedingly hard to foster Respect.  The green shoots are evident but the big problem of waning Respect levels and perceptions remains.  It can leave us wondering just what’s going on when it comes to Respect.

What the decline points to is that Respect has become more aspiration than reality … and that’s where this webinar steps in!

In this webinar, we’ll unpack for you and your school:

  • how to define Respect in terms we can all understand.
  • how to get started with Respectful behaviours.
  • why focusing on fostering, rather than commanding, Respect is the way to go.
  • how to measure your impact when it comes to Respect.
  • how other important values can be enacted using a simple behavioural methodology.
  • the difference between an authoritarian and authoritative approach and how they impact Respectful experiences.
Ahead of a 2018 school year that we all hope will be hallmarked by positive interactions across your School Community, this really is an opportunity that you can’t afford to let slip by.