Before seeing the below video clip of JK Rowling’s Harvard University commencement speech, I had only ever read her fictional work.
Harry Potter is a life’s work of which any writer would be proud.
But it was the non fictional story of her own life, that laid the foundations for an inspirational address to Harvard graduates back in 2009.
Even now, 5 years on from her speech, her advice, insights and reflections are still so relevant to the students we teach (as well as to the colleagues we work with) and I wanted to share it with you all to provide some further affirmation that is definitely ok to get things wrong.
Without allowing failure to become my key objective (we never try to fail), I seem to find ways of failing a lot in my role as a teacher, especially when it comes to classroom innovation.
No big deal, everyone survives.
Indeed, I would say its the principal calling card of a life long learner. Having said that, I always fail safe in the knowledge that what I was striving for was something greater, more meaningful or valuable for the kids I teach, and most importantly , I/we learn from it.
As teachers, we must have the courage to push boundaries, try new things and the humility to admit/ accept when things haven’t gone right. The great thing about working with kids is that they don’t mind telling you straight!
Imagine having teachers modelling this and explaining innovation/failure/success to students as they go over the course of a students school life.
Being courageous then becomes part of their very fabric of living and learning.
Imagine a culture of innovation was the norm, like working at google.
In the words of J.K Rowling;
“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 fail by default.”
I hope you enjoy watching as much as I did