First Attempt at Learning (F.A.I.L) is something that I have seen all over the place. It is one of the characteristics that a teacher need to not be scared about. It is okay to “mess up” when teaching for several reasons. First, it shows your students you are human and just like them. Second, you model how to stick with it until you get it “right”. Third, you can show them there could be more than one way to get to the “right” answer. And lastly, you may come up with more than one correct answer.
Showing students you're not perfect can allow for more learning to take place. Learning by you and them together. This will allow for more innovation in the classroom learning environment. (I am on an integration vs innovation kick, I know.) This just doesn’t have to be innovation with technology, but with anything you do in the classroom. Take it up a notch and show them that if you do “fail” you learn from those mistakes and still learn. You may even need second, third, fourth, or more attempts to get something right. Just tell them about Formula 409, the 409th try. They stuck with it and finally were able to get the results they wanted. They weren’t afraid to fail 408 times.
There are multiple ways to get to the right answer. I always told my math students I am just giving you several ways to do this, if you have a different way and show your work, I learn too. Also, as in life, there can be more than one correct answer to a problem. Getting to that correct answer may take 20 different way in your classroom to come up with that answer. As long as they stick with it and remember that not getting to the desired result is LEARNING, then we are building life long learners.
Don’t be afraid to FAIL!!