Fail Up Part 2

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September 23, 2011 by jbrettjacobsen

As a reminder, during the first week of school, we held our annual all-school Convocation where I delivered a message of (1) fail up, (2) share the well, and (3) play.  Since then, I received a number of emails and had personal conversations with parents about “fail up.”  While it is the hardest to execute out of the three points, I had no idea that this would resonate as much as it has.  Inside and outside the classroom setting, examples of applying “fail up” by our students have inspired me a 1000 times over.  Hearing that they are internalizing taking risks, learning from mistakes, working hard, etc. raises the standard for me to support them in a greater way as they fail up. 

In addition, through my personal learning network, Twitter, a number of quotes and articles have captured the spirit of this message.  Here a few…

RT @afmc4: @jbrettjacobsen via @cybraryman1 FAIL = First Attempt In Learning! My Learning from Mistakes page:

RT @GreatestQuotes: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

RT @30SecMBA: There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.~ Colin Powell

RT @fastcompany: RT @30SecMBA: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”—General Eric. Shinseki

RT @scottbelsky: “The biggest thing the US has going for it is its culture of failure” – @perrycheng, @telmexhub

@cliffordshelley discussing the 3 Rs Respect Responsible Resilient with LS students

RT “Everything changes when you change.” – Jim Rohn.

These are some articles that were emailed me to me around the concept of failure:

Why Success Always Starts with Failure

What if the Secret to Success is Failure

Do You Have What It Takes to be an Entrepreneur?


Fostering an environment for students to “fail up” is critically immportant.

How do we do this so that they are college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders? 

After all, they are only 15 for a moment.  This is your moment to prepare and position them for the future.

Add your own thought, quote, link to article regarding “fail up.”


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Dr. Brett Jacobsen

Head of School
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Atlanta, GA

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