Everyone notices the most successful people in any field. They stand out, soak up all of the attention, and make it look so easy. Every successful person has a story of persistence, failure, and luck to share.
Our students only see the effortless result of that work. We need to show that the process is long and that a normal person can do it. The most common way that this is taught is using famous examples.
John Legend was rejected for seven years before he was offered a recording contract. He had to invest in voice coaches during that time. It took years of practice and rejection for him to get his start.
The problem with this example is that my students do not know John Legend personally. He seems extraordinary. Naturally, extraordinary people do extraordinary things. Unless you consider yourself extraordinary, you’ll ignore this example.
I remember hearing examples like this as a kid. Abraham Lincoln and others. I remember telling myself that these people had much more talent than I do. Their extra talent helped them, they were unstoppable. I am not like them. These lessons did not help me as a kid.
Use your own failures
A better way to teach this lesson is to use yourself. I might make it look easy but there is a long list of failures in my past. I’ve started blogging sites, YouTube channels, a rain barrel install company, and a missing work email web app. I walk my students through these failures, what I learned, and how those attempts help me now. I made a page to show my students when I teach this topic.
Failure is a critical topic for maker education. I make sure to talk about it often.