Rethinking The Value of Risk Taking

You’re in the cockpit of a smoking, loop-the-looping, out of control, 8-bit jalopy of an airplane. Grab hold of the yoke, ace. It’s going to take raw skill and white-knuckle stunts to get through this one. Enter the danger zone! Fly through treacherous obstacles, and earn stars to unlock new worlds.screen520x924 Whether it’s the verdant sloping hills of Summer or the time-bending passages of the Future, these levels are out to do one thing: stop you. Sorry, chief.

But don’t cry, you can always RETRY.

The above is a description to a new mobile game with an old skool feel that recently launched,  but I couldn’t help but to wish I was reading this about someone’s classroom. Retry, the game requires the player to take some risk in order to figure out the best way to navigate through the multitude of obstacles that are in place to keep you from reaching the finish line. Education can be set up the same way. Politics, assessments, lack of materials all represent the hills and slopes and treacherous dangers that keep us from allowing ourselves and our students the opportunity to take risk, fail and retry. We actually should embrace taking risk, failing and retrying; sounds like innovation to me. My most effective moments of teaching were when I had to revamp my lessons over and over, stand on my head, bust a rhyme (the means rap)  jump blindly into the learning space while dressed up like Ghandi, just to get a “aha moment” from my students. In demonstrating mastery, my students had to duplicate my efforts and had a blast start over and over and over. That’s when the most learning took place. I think the video below best demonstrates my idea of the Retry classroom and the value of risk taking. Hopefully after watching this 7 year old’s enthusiasm for taking a risk and failing you’ll have a different view of the impact it can have on learning. Thanks @Thrasymachus for sharing the video.

Funny thing about the video was it never showed the excitement in the device working to catch the monster, the excitement was in the overcoming the failures. #risktakers


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