Jaguar Jargon

2016-2017, 19th Edition

When Failure Isn't An Option

Does anyone feel like last week was really long, although it was actually a day shorter than normal? Why is it that it often feels this way? And maybe you didn't have that kind of week, and if that is the case - good for you! I know many times it seemed like I had to just keep pushing forward to 3:10 on Friday, because what other option did I have? To throw in the towel would be failure, and we know the show must go on, right?

With this in mind, I saw a great quote on Twitter this morning that really made take a step back. It said this:

"If failure isn't an option, then neither is success."

Wow. That is a pretty powerful statement. Now, we know we must show up, we must teach, we must care for the students in our charges. We can't just "throw in the towel". Some may argue that in certain areas, failure definitely isn't an option. We want our pilot to know how to fly a plane, we want our surgeon to know how to fix the problem, etc. But let's think about this in terms of our students. If failure is never an will they learn? How will they know the sweet feeling of success and triumph? And if they do indeed fail, why have they done so?

In order for our students to never fail, we would have to assume that we are absolutely giving them all of the tools and skills necessary to match their needs to ensure success. That we have adequately prepared students for every single task or assessment they will be measured against. But would that really be exactly what we want them to experience?

Let's also talk about the value of failure. When is something more meaningful to you - when it comes easily, or when you have had to practice, put in hard work, and learn from mistakes? Success can have more value if you have experienced some failure before, making it an addition to your learning experience.

I can't say that I would ever wish for someone to fail - it's just not a natural feeling; and ultimately, our goal is successful learning. However, failure is a part of everyone's experience at some point or another. Maybe it's our perception of the event that needs to change.

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Instructional Focus: Inference

Here is a nice post about teaching inference from Classroom Caboodle:

Take a look for your own knowledge, and during Collaboration time on Wednesday.

Coming Up


Motivational Monday, January 23rd

  • RECESS: Tilstra, Simmons, Hayden

Teamwork Tuesday, January 24th

  • RECESS: McCombs, Waller, Jones
  • Lunch 'n Learn with Lisa Webb - Art Room
  • Rhoades out in afternoon

Wellness Wednesday, January 25th

  • RECESS: Osborn, Jackson, Malmgren
  • Collaboration: Please meet with your grade-level colleagues and discuss your use of inference and alignment to each other in Reading instruction.
  • PBIS Cart

Thinking Thursday, January 26th

  • RECESS: Rodeffer, Kramer, Pompeo
  • CPI Refresher, 3:30
  • Nominate any Jaguars who are Paw-Some!

High Five Friday, January 27th

  • RECESS: Sims, Scarbrough, Reed
  • Rhoades out - WIU Admin. Roundtable



  • Kudos to everyone for the knowledge you share about your students on Data Day
  • Kudos to your patience as we work through the installation of our new copiers :/
  • Kudos to Lisa Webb and Chad for their work on such installation!


  • Congrats to Kristen Mahr on the birth of her baby boy!
  • Congrats to Laurie Skien on the marriage of her daughter over the weekend!
  • Condolences to Cristine Purdy and family on the passing of her father-in-law
  • DOORS WILL BEGIN TO BE LOCKED AT 8:20 - Visitors after this time must use the security button to enter the building.
  • If you have not yet turned in your SLO data, please do so.

Parting Shot

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