Students, and everyone else really, get frustrated by failure, especially if they see their peers succeeding where they failed. The best way to help their frustrations is to visualize success by showing kids what success really looks like. Thanks to social media, I found the perfect picture to do just that. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.
Have you ever seen a student get discouraged by their grade compared to another student's grade? Or have you ever felt discouraged because your final results didn't look as nice as someone else? First off, we need to stop comparing ourselves to others, but that's for another article. Another way to help end discouragement is to illustrate what success actually looks like. Tamra Dollar posted an excellent graphic from Sylvia Duckworth of the “iceberg illusion” caused by success. You can see that image below.
All anyone ever sees when they see success is just the tip of the iceberg, the time it went right. What they don't see is all the times it went wrong and all of the hard work poured into both the failed attempts and the successful one. They only see what went right, and not all the times it went wrong before they figured out how to make it right. So the next time a student is despondent because they didn't do as well as they liked, don't treat it like a failure, but like the bottom of the success iceberg. Help them visualize success by telling them this is only a start, not a finish. That failure is only a step to reach the top of the success iceberg and that hard work and dedication can help them reach the top.
Can you think of any other illustrations that visualize success? What are other ways you have helped students, or anyone you know, deal with failure?
Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to email@example.com.
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