Empowering Parents for Christian Education
Failure is not an Option
In April of 1970, Apollo 13 blasted off into outer space with a mission. However, along the way, they began to have mechanical difficulties and radioed back to the flight control center, “Houston, we have a problem.” The lives of three astronauts were on the line. They would die if NASAs engineers could not figure out a way to get them back to earth safely. A man named Gene Kranz was the mission deck operator. In his first meeting, he looked at those who had gathered to attempt to save Apollo 13 and he said, “Failure is not an option.” Well, the rest is history. They did rescue Apollo 13 and gave credit to the statement that “you can fix anything with duck tape.
Watch Dr. Adam Rondeau, Director of ViewPoint Christian Academy, discuss why failure is not an option at ViewPoint Christian Academy.
“Failure is not an option.” We take that same approach at ViewPoint in our academics. We just don’t allow it. In fact, students never actually fail a unit. They redo it until they know it. ViewPoint has established a minimum of 80% for a unit as the measure of mastery. It is our individualized approach to education that makes this standard a possibility and achievable. In an individualized approach, the student isn’t keeping up with the group. They are learning at their own rate. This ensures that LEARNING is happening, not just the ticking of time on a clock. At ViewPoint, learning is the constant, time is the variable.
So what if my child doesn’t pass a quiz or test? Exactly! So what!
These assessments provide an accurate revelation of what has or has not been learned. It’s not a “failure”. It’s an opportunity to ensure mastery!
Here are some suggestions on how to make the most of a “fail”.
Use it to pinpoint study habits.
- If a quiz is being failed repeatedly it is most often indicates that the student isn’t thoroughly digesting the material.
- They need to go back and learn or re-learn the material.
Use it to develop note-taking skills.
- There is a direct link between good note-taking skills and higher test grades.
Use it to pinpoint specific difficulties.
- Review the quiz/test and see if it is a general lack of understanding of the material or only specific areas in which the student is having difficulty.
- Assessments can help pinpoint student difficulties so that the assistance they receive can be more precise.
Use it to build character.
- Character building is hard work! It is the nitty-gritty of the daily pursuit of helping to shape the student into the image of Christ. Experience and overcoming failure is a part of this process.
- We want our students to have the mentality that they will not accept defeat, but rather be an overcomer.