This post originally appeared at Getting Smart on July 13, 2016.
Our 15-year-old son loves to flip.
The challenge is, when you flip, there is a good chance you’ll flop. It’s part of the deal.
I bet most of us have experienced–or at least have seen–a pretty nasty belly flop (or “smack” as real divers call it). When I asked college diving coach Gabe Kortuem how he teaches his divers to handle them, his response was quick and convicted.
“We celebrate them. Then they don’t hurt so much.”
The underlying message is pretty obvious. Mistakes are part of the learning process. When we treat them as such, they give us reason to celebrate.
Schools across the country are placing a great deal of emphasis on social emotional learning (SEL), success skills, mindsets, social skills, habits of success and more (call them what you will). Framing learning opportunities with a phrase like “celebrating the flops” can be a great springboard (pun intended) to reinforce SEL habits.
According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), one of the goals of social emotional learning (SEL) programs is improving student attitudes about self, others and school. Cognitive science research shows it can be done.
What if it became second nature for our responses to have such a positive forward-looking tone. Instead of “fail,” how about “not yet?” Instead of “You’d better not do that again,” what if we said “What did you learn from that one?”
Here are 7 practical SEL tips for teachers and parents to reinforce such mindsets in young people: (more…)