We are all unique. We interpret the world differently. As we learn, we grow in society and begin to appreciate these differences.
We all grow through failure. The fear isn’t in the act of failing, it’s in the criticism which follows. Criticism is a powerful deterrent. We call this creating a culture of “falling up.” This year our district has embarked on a mission to “Fall Up.”
A school with a culture that encourages risk-taking and rewards the learning process rather than the “right answer” at any cost, is in fact a school culture that promotes excellence over mediocrity. Odyssey scholars see the learning opportunity in a failed attempt.
Our goal is to create a culture “willing to take thoughtful risks in order to improve” (Doug Lemov, Teach Like a Champion. Pg 144).
“When a student is encouraged both to fail and to try again, it has a profound effect on all students—how they view their work individually and how they support each other in their learning efforts. The classroom becomes a safe place to fail and a place where error is always corrected but not condemned; a place where success matters” (Doug Lemov, Teach Like a Champion. 146).
Odyssey’s core beliefs:
- Every scholar matters
- Growth Isn’t always measured by test scores
- Scholars are challenged and feel safe to explore
- Positive Communication
Building from these values:
- Positive communication
- Challenging scholars at all levels
- Paving the way for risk taking for scholars and teachers
- Teachers striving to perfect their practice
- Scholars striving to perfect their learning
What does a culture of error look like in your child’s classroom? A classroom environment that requires mistake-making and risk-taking is one in which teachers are striving to perfect their practice and scholars are striving to perfect their learning. It is an environment that fosters rigor, self-reliance, and critical thinking. Scholars will be encouraged to use their mistakes as opportunities to start anew, isolate their errors, and then bounce forward.
Falling up IB style:
Be a Risk Taker: give and take chances; be resourceful and resilient when facing challenges
Be Reflective: work to understand your strengths and improve your weaknesses
Be Caring: show empathy and compassion for others’ mistakes and respect the feedback of others as they help us to learn from our mistakes
Be a Thinker: Take responsibility and action when a mistake has been made.
When an instructor tells a scholar “I’m so glad you made that mistake. It’s going to help me to help you.” and calls the class together it sends the message that making mistakes is normal and valuable. Scholars should be encouraged to answer questions without the fear of criticism.
Teachers will understand that in order to be able to consistently identify and address student misunderstandings, it is important to create a culture where making errors is normal.
What does it mean to be open-minded? Our open-minded scholars are able to appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. They seek and evaluate a range of points of view and are willing to grow from the experience.
We are so excited to embark in an environment where each team member is committed to the excellence that takes place when we Fall Up instead of down!