Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.

Mistakes, however, I’ve made (and continue to make) many of them.

I made one this morning. I was working through a difficult “ladders” question with an A level Mechanics class, a problem that I had set as a homework and most couldn’t complete.

And so, with the power of OneNote and Teams, the class were able to watch and listen to me as I demonstrated how to do the question, interjecting as appropriate for clarification or help as required.

On completing the question I asked the class if they now understood, if they were happy with what I had shown them.  They all were.

Until a few minutes later, when one student suggested I had made a mistake with one part of my answer.

I asked him to talk me through his thinking, and he was right, I was wrong. (We were calculating a range of values needed for a force to stop a ladder slipping, and I had got my upper bound wrong.)

Whilst I will confess to being a little frustrated with myself for making the error, that is more than compensated with the sense of satisfaction and pride I vicariously took from my student; the apprentice has surpassed his master, and isn’t that what we all really want as teachers? For our students to leave us having learned all that they can from us?

Mistakes – we should celebrate them for what they are, whoever makes them, a chance to learn. After all, if no-one ever made any mistakes we’d never have the opportunity to improve.


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