One of the trickiest types of situation I have experienced as a teacher is what happens when someone loses face. There are all sorts of occasions when this can happen including, say
- a student is last to e.g. stop talking, get in line, be ready, finish a task
- a parent forgets that today is special and money, packed lunch, costume is required
- anyone (head teacher, colleague, parent, external specialist, on-site support, pupil, the list goes on) makes a faux pas
For some, dusting themselves down and carrying on as normal is second nature, but for others, the perceived mistake can leave scars. In a caring environment, these may heal and be quickly forgotten, but occasionally, each small hiccup adds to the last until a young person’s confidence is badly eroded. One of the most important characteristics we can help our learners develop is resilience. It’s a huge benefit for learning, as it encompasses the important ability to take just enough risk to make mistakes we can learn from, and helps overcome the fear of occasional, temporary failure. If we can promote this flexibility of thinking in our students, the knowledge that each day, lesson or task begins with a clean slate, then we will have done a great service to this generation.