Courageous Classrooms: Making Mistakes is Courageous

Starting the year with learning how to handle mistakes is important because this is something we will most likely be doing every day. We all make mistakes and it happens often. We are not robots that are programmed to do the same thing over and over. We are human beings who make mistakes, mess up, and sometimes make bad choices. This is all part of being human.

Ask students how they feel when they make a mistake, mess up, or make a choice that is later regretted.

All feelings are normal and OK. Some feelings include:

  • Embarrassed
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Not smart (students may identify “dumb” or “stupid”)
  • Worried or nervous

Although our feelings change when mistakes occur, our abilities, talents, and who we are as a person DOES NOT change. It does not change who we are. The most important part of making a mistake is how we respond when it happens.

Mistakes can be good:

  • When we learn something new, we often mess up several times. One example is learning to ride a bike. We will most likely fall several times before learning how to ride a bike. If we don’t ever try, we won’t learn new skills.
  • It teaches our body to be flexible so we can go with the flow.
  • We might also be able to learn to have fun even if things aren’t going perfectly. Sometimes it can be fun to laugh at yourself (not others) when you mess up!

We all make mistakes. When we make mistakes at school, our teachers and friends can remind us that it is OK and that we are still good students/friends/people even if we make a mistake. Making mistakes reminds us that we are courageous!

Download the resource below and post it in your classroom to remind your students to be courageous through mistakes.

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By Matt Ray

About Starr Commonwealth

Starr Commonwealth is dedicated to the mission to lead with courage to create positive experiences so that all children, families, and communities flourish. We specialize in residential, community-based, educational, and professional training programs that build on the strengths of children, adults, and families in communities around the world. To schedule a training or consultation, please contact or call 800-837-5591.