In this Principal Perspectives, we highlight the ideas of Principal Michael Bostwick as he discusses the messiness of learning and growth. Michael is a dynamic middle level Principal with experiences in leading professional learning, PBL, STEAM, and makerspace. Follow on Twitter @M_Bostwick or LinkedIn.
“Nothing great ever came from easy,” as Michael Bostwick noted in an especially poignant Tweet on December 8th of what is now last year. Bostwick’s insights may be just the inspiration you need to actually keep your New Year’s education resolutions this year. The right words can get us to do a lot of stuff, and the right words from an accomplished principal can get us to stick to what we start.
Learning from Failure: A team who learns together, grows stronger together. @M_Bostwick
And just in case you were thinking about ‘giving it the old college try’ just so you can say you did before you give up, Bostwick has some wise words for you.
Mistakes are only as good as the reflection that follows them. Continuing with the same approach with constant failure is insanity. Systematic reflection follow an experiential learning cycle can be powerful. What? So what? Now what? Why? Next time… #leadupchat https://t.co/ibaF1Yz75e
— Michael Bostwick (@M_Bostwick) December 8, 2018
You may have experienced failure in your past resolutions. You may be using that failure as an excuse to give up on your goals this year. After all, it’s your personality to give up, right?
You are who you are at the moment you decide to find yourself. The same approach of giving up your resolution in February obviously isn’t working for anyone. Continuing with this approach and hoping for a different result is insane!
So how do you change your mindset?
One way is to avoid paralysis by analysis. Every decision, every goal has costs. Take time at the start to measure those costs, and then move. Think and act. And just know, things will get messy.
Instead of leading with your past, lead with ‘thought and purpose.’ Designing your future through your thought process gives you a path to follow. Once you see a way forward, you can become more confident in the prospect of success. More importantly, you can fail with your eyes wide open.
Why is this important?
Knowing where you fail means you know where you can change and succeed. If you refuse to plan before trying something, you don’t know where to place the failure. As a result, you place it on yourself in general and label yourself a failure. This gives you an excuse to quit. When you quit, you end up right where you started – waiting for next year to start another resolution.
Why do it alone?
There’s really no good reason. Follow Michael’s advice with your team. Lead them through decisions by leading with thought and purpose.
You’ll quickly see that a team who learns together, grows stronger together.
We can take a lot of inspiration from the words of Bostwick, but we can take more than that. He gives us a strategy to move forward in our educational goals for the new year. Take the words to heart and try something different this year!
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