Children need to know that struggle and mistakes are an important part of the learning process. When we look at extraordinary personalities in different fields, the most inspiring aspect of their life journey was that they persevered through struggle and embraced mistakes as a part of their life and growth. The famous quote by Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor extraordinaire on his many “failed experiments” was “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Children need to know that any mistakes or struggle during examinations are also an important part of the learning process. For example, when children struggle through math problems and then solve them or English grammar and learn the nuances, the inner confidence that develops as a result of struggling and then figuring out a concept will only push them to achieve greater heights. Children need to be guided to look at mistakes in a healthy manner. They should not be put down or made to feel that they are dumb or stupid because they have made mistakes or are struggling. We often forget that we sometimes undergo struggle when we are grappling with complexities and something that is not all that familiar. When children are made to feel comfortable with mistakes, they will go to the examination hall with far less stress. They will approach the exam like an interesting game instead of an intimidating ordeal. Moreover, mistakes can sometimes give way to creativity and innovation. Many mistakes in fact gave way to interesting innovations which would otherwise not have happened with the usual run-of-the-mill actions. So, sometimes, children need to look at mistakes and struggle as an opportunity to think out-of-the-box and a blessing in disguise.
Teachers and parents need to guide children and teenagers and make them realize that a mistake in no way undermines them. If they are able to make them embrace struggle and mistakes as a part of the learning process, they will see a sea change in their attitude towards learning. Children will be able to better enjoy the learning process. They will enthusiastically strive to improve and reach their fullest potential.
Elizabeth Lara Cruse Da Costa
60 Hours TESOL Foundation Course
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