Monday, March 23, 2009

Keep Trying

"Sometimes the beauty is in the attempt."

We have all tried something and failed. When I say "tried" in this instance, I mean put everything we had, our entire hearts and souls, into something that we cared about. This happens in the classroom and probably even more often in life, but the message holds true for both: Sometimes the beauty is in the attempt.

When I went away to college, I went to a small private school in a big city. It was probably the most emotionally heart wrenching year of my life. Thinking about the way that I survived that year actually makes me feel grateful for the trials of late, because I'd never wish to be back in that place again. Regardless, when I really think about it, I learned more about myself and my strengths that year than I ever had before. I even made positive experiences for myself that I look back on and smile. I challenged myself in ways that I never had before, and when it came to the end of the year I had the courage to know that it was time to walk away.

As far as being able to stick it out and stay at that school, I failed. But I learned about myself, had some memories that I will always cherish, and ended up in a better place because of it.

Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves when we fail ourselves or our students. But failing always yields something. Take comfort in the fact that, when you've truly given your all and it doesn't work out, it's not your fault. If you choose to accept failure and learn from it, the attempt can be more powerful than it's outcome.


  1. Again, an inspired post. Thanks so much. I don't know what your particular circumstances were, but I can tell that the experience you had at school was one that changed forever who you are today. The impressive part is that it changed you for the better. I wish the same for all of my students.


  2. I think you hit the nail on the head. I didn't know that writing the exact experiences would enhance anything because the point was simply that it was hard and I'm better for it. I agree with that hope for our students though. I guess the best we can do is model what that looks like. :)