From this excellent piece…
“My second grade teacher, Miss Cockfield, had this Confucius quote on the wall: “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”
“But school can’t be like that any longer because it has become serious business, big business, with corporate profits and losses at stake. If too many kids fail, a school loses funding, teachers get fired, school doors get closed. Just as my baseball coach yelled at me because I accidentally “cost” his team of 8-year-olds an out, we’re all now yelling at our kids to take it seriously, to buckle down, and win, because the “failure” of a 5-year-old is now a matter of grave consequence.
“Human children are simply not designed for this. They are designed for sports, they are designed for learning, they are designed for education, but without the freedom to fail (and often), without the freedom to make it up as we go along, without the freedom to try new things and have new ideas whether or not they fit the conventional wisdom, then it’s a cruelty, a robbery. When we take away their free play, we take away their ability to learn life’s most important lessons: to take responsibility, to persevere, to create, to make agreements with others, and yes to get back up when we fail without some grown-up yelling at us for having fallen.”