Before I became an Art teacher, I never thought much about the value of making mistakes. And I certainly never considered calling attention to my mistakes or using them as examples!
But it didn’t take long for that to change once I started drawing on a whiteboard in front of a room full of kids!
Mistakes happen – they just do. No matter how well you think you’ve planned, surprises occur and before you know it you’ve drawn a cat that looks more like a squirrel… or worse! And in a room full of kids, someone is guaranteed to notice and make sure everyone else notices, too!
But rather than dread the inevitable blunders that seem to go with the territory when doing art in front of an audience, you can decide to embrace those mistakes!
Once I figured this out, I actually looked forward to the little things that would go wrong in the course of demonstrating a project or technique.
I came to see these little slip-ups as opportunities to demonstrate how to fail forward… to fully own each mistake I made, taking responsibility without blaming or making excuses.
Instead of seeing a less than perfect demo as a negative thing, I would have some fun with it and enjoy a laugh right along with my students. Then I would model my thought process for how I could either fix it or work with it and sometimes end up with a better result than I would have had without the blunder.
By modeling mistake-making for my students, I was able to teach them the valuable lessons that 1) we can learn and grow from our mistakes, 2) failure isn’t final, and 3) mistakes are nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. We all make them!
Now that I’ve convinced you how helpful mistakes can be, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say you can experience fewer of these “in front of the whole class faux pas” by working through each project from start to finish on your own before you teach it to your students. You can read more about this in my blog post: How to Draw out the Best Artwork from Your Students.
an inspiring quote:
“The biggest mistake you could ever make is being afraid to make one.”
Wow. This quote never fails to leave me feeling convicted!
Even now that I embrace mistake-making in many situations, I still have areas where I procrastinate starting (or finishing) due to fear of the results not meeting my expectations.
a question to consider:
What projects have you found yourself procrastinating on?
When you recognize procrastination as a fear of failing it can be the first step toward overcoming it!