Back when I was in 5th grade, I caught pneumonia right around Easter. I missed school for something like ten days and I missed a ton of work. Not only did I miss a bunch of work, I failed to complete a bunch of work as well, and at the end of the six-weeks grading period, my parents received a phone call from my teacher letting them know that I had a 69 in her class and she wanted to know how to proceed.
"Flunk him. Let him fail," was the unified response from my parents. So report cards came out, and to my complete horror, was a 69....in RED ink...on my report card (back in the days of hand written report cards...my mom still has a copy of it). I was horrified, embarrassed, disappointed in myself, you name it; if it was a bad emotion, I felt it.
Then my Dad walked in my room. I was sitting on my bed in tears, and his presence surely meant that there was some discipline fixing to be imparted upon my posterior. I was sure of it.
Instead, he taught me one of the most valuable lessons he ever taught me. He simply asked me, "now...you got yourself into this. What do you plan to do about it? Are you going to quit or are going to be a Unicorn?" Ok...clean off you monitor and let me explain. My Dad was the Vice Principal at New Braunfels High School and the Unicorn was our mascot. To my knowledge, it's the only school in the USA with a Unicorn as a mascot. To us...that meant something. You see, to us, a Unicorn was a mythical beast that stood for all possibilities, wisdom, strength, and purity. It was a set of values that was instilled in all New Braunfels children from Kindergarten on up. Unicorn Pride is Justified was our motto, and we believed it.
So now I had a decision to make, and I chose to be a Unicorn and fight. I worked. Hard.
The next six weeks rolled around and I had a 100 in 5th grade Science, ended up with an A for the year, and I learned a valuable lesson which still holds true today.
You have to learn from failure.
Parents - let your kids fail. Let them fail miserably.
Teachers - let your students fail, and let them fail miserably.
But here's the catch. You have to be there for guidance, but THEY have to solve this problem. They have to go through that conflict, the struggle. That's hard to watch as parents and educators because, especially for teachers, you are a compassionate person and you WANT to help. That's one of the reasons you got into education in the first place - to help kids. THEN HELP THEM, and LET THEM FAIL! THEN help them learn from those failings.
There's a TON of quotes out there that address this exact situation:
"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default." -J.K. Rowling
"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying." -Michael Jordan
"Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing." -H. Stanley Judd
"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill
Here's a ton more: https://www.inc.com/wanda-thibodeaux/25-quotes-that-will-help-you-recover-from-any-failure.html
This is called a "Growth Mindset" and I hate to break it to a bunch of people, but this concept is not new. Not at all. This exactly the mindset that my Dad expected of me. "So you failed....what are you going to do about it?"
I see this with my elementary technology kiddos when we work on coding with Code Monkey. Students will be working diligently trying to write successful code, and too often after one attempt, they walk up and ask for help. Help to them is code for "I cant do this, please do it for me and I'll act like I'm watching."
They get SO mad when I just ask more questions.
"Did you run your code?" "Did you check with Gordo (the teaching assistant who gives hints on how to solve)?" "Have you tried typing something?" (as I look at a blank screen).
Nine out of ten times, the answer is "no", to which I reply, "well....what are you going to do about it?" (sound familiar?) That is followed up with a couple of hints or a gentle nudge in the right direction, but I absolutely will not go solve their problem for them.
Never heard of Growth Mindset and Computational Thinking? Check them out. Put them in practice.
Most of all. Let you kid fail.
Then let them be Unicorns.