Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 226

It's never about whether you've made a #mistake. It's always about what you've learned from it. #QuoteADay #Day226 #edchat #edu #FailForward

I make mistakes every single day. 

Usually, I make a lot of them.

Right now I’m contemplating two. 

My organization works to provide professional learning opportunities to districts throughout the New York City metro area.  So, we create both a “hard-copy” and virtual catalog of offerings. 

This morning, as I was cross-checking the hard-copy book with the virtual one, I noticed that the hard copy book has the word “coordinator” spelled wrong in one place.  Not a big deal, but our team should have caught that (and, as the “final” grammatical checker, this rests on me).  Most readers won’t pick up on it (after all, we didn’t), and it won’t change how people interact with the catalog.  So, in my eyes, this is a mistake to learn from (triple check spelling next time), and to simply move on from.

I also noticed that one of our workshops (which run Monday –Friday) is listed as running on a Sunday.  In some way, we mislabeled the workshop, and while all aspects of the description are correct, the date is not.  This is a bigger deal as though I can easily change our virtual catalog, it is a little harder to change the hard copy one (after all, many of our books have been printed out and are ready to mail).  This mistake involves a greater number of people, and as such, requires a more thorough thinking strategy to avoid in the future.  This is a mistake to learn from (we need to do a better job cross-checking dates before we print our catalogs), and one to be aware of as it is quite possible we’ll receive a number of calls and emails when folks try and find the workshop online and it is listed under a different date.

While I’m disappointed that we made these mistakes, I welcome the truth that they are unavoidable.  While we won’t make these same mistakes next year, we will make others.  There will never be a perfect catalog; something, even very minor, can (and will) always go wrong.

What’s most important is that we learn something from the mistakes we make (we definitely have in this case), and that we work to avoid making the same mistakes over and over (we’ll have to work on a plan to avoid these in the future).

Mistakes should always be a welcome sight.  They let us know that there is still a long, long, road towards additional learning ahead.  

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