But I Didn’t Die: The Power of Mistakes in the Classroom

Credit: iStock.com/soleg
Credit: iStock.com/soleg

My name is Teacher, and my mistakes are Legion.

None of these mistakes are catastrophic. I haven’t lost my temper and pulled my hair out by the roots. I haven’t made grading errors that led to a 75 percent flunk rate. I haven’t written such colossally terrible letters of recommendation that my students were denied entry to their dream grad school. Rather, mine are minor errors that speak to the mistake-prone nature of human beings: calling students by the wrong name; forgetting to unmute myself when simultaneously teaching in person and over Zoom; neglecting to post students’ pre-writing activities before class and then scolding said students for not completing the tasks.


To continue reading, you must be a Teaching Professor Subscriber. Please log in or sign up for full access.

Related Articles

I’ve been wanting to write about my journey to embrace Rumi’s wisdom in my pedagogy. My teaching career...
We’ve now had ChatGPT in our lives for just over a year, but according to commentators, AI has...
Higher education recognizes the importance of tutoring support to improve student success and retention. But human tutoring is...

The first summer job I ever had was mowing lawns. Back then (this was the ’70s), I would...

Current global events, including a rise in nationalistic rhetoric, have put pressure on faculty from all disciplines to...

Many years ago my wife sat in on one of my face-to-face classes to observe my teaching. I...
The Teaching Professor Conference 2024

June 7-9, 2024 • New Orleans

Connect with Fellow Educators at The Teaching Professor Conference!