• Madison Magee

A Safe Place To Fail

Thomas Edison, while experimenting and designing his incandescent light blub, famously produced thousands of bulbs that did not work. He is popularly credited with saying “I haven’t failed… I’ve just found 10,000 ways it won’t work.” And sure enough, he eventually figured it out. But, it’s important to note that he had to first learn from all of his previous mistakes in order to get one that worked. Where would we be if he didn’t have the support to continue after his first failed attempt? What about after the second? The 500th attempt? The 8,000th?

The fact of the matter is that Edison was operating in a place that encouraged experimentation— in a laboratory that supported him through all of his failed attempts because they are all learning experiences just the same. Just like baseball coaches who support their players when they strike out, failed attempts are valuable learning opportunities.

Summer camp staff, like school teachers, understand that creating an effective learning environment means always working for growth and improvement. It’s the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. Michael Bycraft offers this as the foundation for the learning environment in his classroom. His students understand that it’s not only about getting it right— it’s about improving, learning along the way, and to keep trying.

If you want to read more about Michael Bycraft, click here!