Failure verses Success 
When you hear the word failure, what emotions does it stir up? 
For each of us failure looks different. 
To succeed you have to fail and sometimes fail on a big scale. No one likes to fail, but failure often forces us to take a different direction or to try something new; whether child or adult, we will all fail at some point in our lives. It is not about the failure but how we deal with it, and what strategies we put in place to come back stronger. We are constantly learning, and creating an environment where we can fail and discuss our failures is important if we are to succeed. 
Some of my students are very uncomfortable when they get questions wrong and invariably become frustrated. Some are not too concerned and take it in their stride. What I teach my students is to self correct their work; to take a look at why they may have answered the question incorrectly. 
Possible reasons are: 
1. They misread the question. 
2. They wrote a number incorrectly and therefore answered the maths question incorrectly. 
3. They did not understand the question and misinterpreted what it was asking. 
4. They did not break down the question into smaller chunks to make it manageable to answer. 
5. They rushed the work set and did not give the time needed to give a full answer. 
6. They waffled to add extra information but it was irrelevant to the question. 
All of these factors are applicable to students whether in primary or secondary school or further or higher education, whether answering comprehension or maths questions. 
When you hear the word success, what emotions does it stir up? 
For each of us success looks different. 
I was speaking to a parent a few days ago who was looking for a tutor for their child. In actual fact they had a tutor for a while, but the tutor seemed to be more focused on achieving 100% pass rates at whatever cost; the cost was to undermine the child if they answered a question incorrectly, rather than understanding why the student got it wrong and showing them how break down the question in a way the child would understand- as we all learn differently-and empower them to become thinkers and analysers. The child became very distressed; this happened a few times over a period of time, and consequently their confidence was completely eroded. We discussed the situation and looked at different options to support her child. Shortly after, I received a message from the parent letting me know that the tutor was served notice and her child “was relieved and actually started crying”. 
As a tutor my role is to build my student’s confidence in whatever they do. A confident child will learn, but if they are led to believe they are failures, learning or even attempting something new will pose a problem and a brick wall will be erected very quickly. 
We have a very important role to play as tutors; we should be compassionate, kind, professional at all times, patient, knowledgeable, effective educators, good listeners and above all be interested in our students’ wellbeing. If we are doing less than that, then we should be exiting the profession. Words are impactful and more so on children. We should be building them up brick by brick to form strong foundations and inspiring them to become well-rounded individuals, who understand that failure is part of becoming successful. 
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