Mistakes & Learning

Mistakes & Learning

Mistakes are a natural part of learning just about anything – it is actually very hard to learn without making mistakes along the way. For this reason, making mistakes and learning are a huge part of SEL. For example – think about a time when you were angry and reacted irrationally, how did that impact the situation and/or help your anger? You probably felt more upset after reacting that way and it probably did not help the situation at hand – you probably thought about that incident for a little bit and discovered ways in which you can prevent that from happening in a similar situation. That right there is learning from your mistakes in an SEL format. Check out this brief article by Join the Community on how to use SEL to remind students about the importance of learning from our mistakes. 

Many times we see mistakes as a negative thing – but they are much more important than we sometimes realize. We tend to think that if we make mistakes then that makes us a failure in some sense – however, we need to move away from that idea and start seeing the positive learning curves that come out of making mistakes. Edutopia discusses the importance of using failures to improve learning by removing the fear from it. The article provides insight on how to remove the fear of failure from students’ minds and encourages educators to model mistakes in the learning process. 

This article by MindTools discusses the importance of not only learning from our mistakes, but how you can mindfully practice the lesson learned from the mistakes made. The article mentions the importance of owning the mistake made and reframing the concept of error to an incident of learning. Along with Eduotpia and MindTools, Greater Good discusses the importance of using mistakes as opportunities to learn. Greater Good discusses not only the importance of making mistakes, but also how to encourage students (and ourselves) to keep pushing forward after making these mistakes. 

We also wanted to remind you all that everyone makes mistakes as no one is perfect and we are always learning. When implementing SEL we might face some challenges or make mistakes – but that is not to deter us from our work. Edutopia discusses how we can face these challenges and mistakes head on and then recover from them. They suggest seeking out support from other professionals if you feel that you made a mistake so that you can work through this mistake and learn from it. 

Remember you are not your mistakes, but your mistakes can be opportunities.  Use them to your advantage and learn from them!

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