I ran across this poster from Startup Vitamins about a year ago when I toured the T-Rex complex in downtown St. Louis. My copy of it now stands on display behind my desk. It reminds me to take a chance, to push myself outside my comfort zone, and to take the occasional risk.
I think the teaching community needs to add a prerequisite onto all our job descriptions – a criteria that needs to be met before a candidate can even apply for his/her first job: “A successful candidate must be willing to take a chance, and to have experienced a painful failure at least once in their life.” By talking in the interview about how the candidate learned from that failure will speak volumes about their character, and about how they will approach the challenges of their career. I would rather hire a teacher who had started out as an entrepreneur and had lost everything than someone who had never missed an ‘A’ in school.
There is something to be said for being able to get up, dust yourself off, and get right back in there teaching big and on the edge again, teetering between epic fail and epic win.
Who fails? The teacher. Who wins? The teacher AND all his/her students.
To me there is no alternative.