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Risk. Fail. Rise.

A Teacher’s Guide to Learning from Mistakes

By M. Colleen Cruz

Mistakes are part of learning. Every educator knows this. But what happens before and after a mistake that facilitates that learning is rarely explored practically. In Risk. Fail. Rise. teachers will learn how  to address their own teaching mistakes, model with their own mistake-making, and improve their responses to others’ mistakes.

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Mistakes are not the problem. The problem is the shame we attach to mistakes and inability to grow from them.

You have likely heard the adage, ‘Everyone makes mistakes.’ But what you might not have heard is that there are some predictable reasons why we make these mistakes. Knowing why we make mistakes can help us make fewer mistakes and ensure that when we do make mistakes they’ll be more of the more useful variety.

In Risk. Fail. Rise. teachers will learn how to address their own teaching mistakes, model with their own mistake-making, and improve their response to others' mistakes. Colleen shares what research studies say on mistake-making as part of learning and what that means for teaching. She provides research, examples, and tools that help teachers destigmatize mistake-making so that they and their students can do the real work of growth.

The more aware we are of why we make mistakes, what we can do to avoid unnecessary ones, and respond to useful ones, the more our classroom will be a place of risk-taking and growth for all students. Lay the groundwork for a mistake-welcoming school culture and embrace positive risk-taking and productive failure in your classroom. The outcomes for you and your students are worth it.

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