Facing failure head-on

With the recent discussions in the press about the best way to publish learners’ results, I started thinking about those learners who do not pass.

While most learners are optimistic about passing their matric exams, some may have doubts about their success or failure, and a handful might receive news of their failure like an unexpected slap in the face. How can we help learners deal with what they might perceive as the end of the world?

Teachers, parents and friends need to be supportive, but often words of empathy just don’t do the trick when those who have failed see their friends celebrating around them and they realise that they have just wasted an opportunity to move forward in their lives.

Taking a practical approach is often more valuable than kind words i.e. instead of saying, ‘I am so sorry that you failed, you can try again’ you might like to address the issue head-on and say ‘it’s a real shame that you have failed, but now you have to plan how to move forward’.

The website Career Planet offers some useful advice to someone who has failed.
‘OK, you have failed, now what? Your future strategy begins by answering these questions:
~ Why did I fail?
~ Who can I blame?
~ What next?
~ Where can I repeat my matric?
~ When must I apply?
~ Which is my best option?
~ How can I do it?’

Remind learners that if they are beaten into the ground by their failure in matric then they are true failures. Encourage them to show some mettle: pick themselves up; ask themselves some serious questions; find some honest answers and plan what their next step to success will be!


Categories: Macrat Musings

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