It’s Thursday morning on November 3rd, 2016. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in the 10th inning of Game 7 just eight hours ago. About 950,000 hours ago, however, was the last time the same team obtained the same level of success. That, my friends, is persistence.

No one can argue that 108 years isn’t a long time – it is quite literally longer than a lifetime. And yet, a culture of embracing failure and promoting persistence couldn’t be more true in an organization. The best part is that it isn’t limited to the coaches and players, but the fans – the support structure for the team – are some of the largest instigators of this culture.

Education can learn a thing or two from this three-time world champion team – 108 years means nothing if you stay persistent, stay hungry, and not let the losses define you.


Photo Credit: ABC News

Both in the classroom and in life we lose a lot. Our students struggle through concepts, our teachers struggle with solid instruction, and sometimes we have struggles at home that naturally bleed into our classrooms. If we let our losses define us, we set that as our culture and immediately shut down opportunities to learn from mistakes and get better as a team. Sure, the Cubs had a less than stellar World Series track record for a long time – but that’s only one metric. If we focus on moments to celebrate in the past 108 years, 8,381 Cubs wins for instance, we don’t let the 108 losses define us.

The same has to be true in the classroom. We all have those students that have let their losses define them. It’s hard to admit, but we as educators have probably defined some of our students (and even ourselves) as “losers.” Where does that lead us, though? Do we give our students and ourselves 108 tries to get it right? To feel the power of the win? To recognize the power of persistence? More often than not, we don’t.

The current constructs of education allow for the losses to be defining. We need to rile up our fans (parents), our coaches (teachers), and our players (students) to celebrate the wins, and learn from but not be defined by the losses.

The current constructs of education allow for the losses to be defining. Click To Tweet

How do we embrace failure within our classrooms? How do you promote persistence in your students? Show your students how to be defining, not defined.

Show your students how to be defining, not defined. Click To Tweet

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