I played “Crash Bandicoot” with Princess (my 7-year-old) and Monkey (my 3-year-old) tonight. It was mostly me playing while they watched and coached since it is a one player game. I had not played in a couple years but the first level I ran through like a rock star. Then, my lack of practice slowly became more and more evident. The kids were cheering me on while the lives were dwindling. I failed. I failed again. The game was over.
In the last level of my Bandicoot life I remembered how important it is to let students fail. Princess, Monkey and I laughed as Crash was flattened in each failed attempt; but I was also cheered on as I made it a tiny bit further the next run. I learned in the level (or was reminded) each time I had failed which pitfalls to avoid and my physical memory became stronger as I ran and jumped through the level. But I failed.
We need to let students fail in the classroom and then be there to cheer them on with the next small step. Learning is hard work. Celebrate the journey as you go!