A 3-Step Process School Leaders Can Use to Grow From Failure

Title: A 3-Step Process School Leaders Can Use to Grow From Failure

Author: Jessica Cabeen

Published: January 30, 2024

Source: [Original URL]


In her article, Jessica Cabeen explores a three-step process for school leaders to leverage moments of failure as opportunities for growth and improvement. Drawing from personal experience, Cabeen emphasizes the importance of reflection, collaboration, and iterative adjustment in navigating setbacks effectively.

Cabeen begins by acknowledging the inevitability of occasional failures in educational initiatives, citing Amy Edmondson's insight that mastery requires learning from mistakes. She shares a personal example of a failed attempt to implement a new scheduling system at her school, highlighting the chaos that ensued and the subsequent need for reflection.

The first step, according to Cabeen, is to reflect and analyze the failure thoroughly. She underscores the importance of honest reflection, asking probing questions, and identifying contributing factors. Cabeen recounts how her team reviewed the failed scheduling system, identified conflicts, and gathered feedback from students and teachers to pinpoint areas for improvement.

Next, Cabeen advocates for seeking feedback and collaboration to gain diverse perspectives on the failure. She describes how she engaged with her team and embraced vulnerability to foster open discussions and generate innovative solutions. By involving stakeholders in the process, Cabeen highlights the value of collective problem-solving and constructive feedback.

Finally, Cabeen emphasizes the importance of implementing adjustments and iterating based on lessons learned. She encourages school leaders to strategically adjust their approach, address shortcomings, and embrace a mindset of continuous improvement. Cabeen shares how her team modified the scheduling system based on feedback, ultimately improving the overall structure of the school day.

In conclusion, Cabeen emphasizes that failure is not the end but an opportunity for growth and resilience. By following this three-step process of reflection, collaboration, and adjustment, school leaders can transform setbacks into stepping stones for improvement. Cabeen's insights offer a practical framework for navigating challenges and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement in educational leadership.

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