edu180atl: jack parrish 4.12.12
We are pushed from a very early age to succeed in life. Run faster, study harder, get the best grades. Achieve, achieve, achieve! What I learned recently is that more learning often happens through failure than through success.
“I regret to inform you that you were not among those selected.”
Nothing stings more than rejection. The above quote, taken from a rejection letter, was addressed to me from a summer fellowship I applied for. Why me? Was there something that I could have done differently?
My initial reaction was self-pity and doubt. Why was I not good enough? Should I just give up? Am I a bad teacher?
Having spent years encouraging students when they do not succeed, I began to examine the other side. While the program would have been a great experience, it would not have taught my classes for me, nor would it have created lessons plans, or written progress reports. I began searching for other opportunities and thought about how I could make my application more impressive next year. Gradually, the pain of failure kindled a desire to become a better teacher.
You learn more about yourself in defeat and failure than you do in success. Will you give up? Will self-doubt and pity creep into your mind? Will you change the mistakes you made? Will you succeed in the future?
Embrace the failure. Live in the moment when you do not succeed. You might learn something.
About the Author: Jack Parrish (@jack_parrish) is a Fifth Grade teacher at Trinity School in Atlanta. He also coaches football and lacrosse at the Lovett School.