This much I know about…failure


I have been a teacher of English for 24 years and, at the age of 48, this much I know about failure (well, everyone else is writing about it…).

If you commit to something completely you almost certainly commit yourself to experiencing a degree of failure. On a profound level, any relationship you have will end, no matter how committed, because of the single certainty of the human condition. Students who commit to improving their performance at school will inevitably fail the majority of the time; it feels to me that too many learn that in order to avoid failure at school, just refuse to commit.

I learnt most about failure through sport. I committed to golf when I was ten years old. I played every day in the summer holidays and practised seven hours a day until my hands bled. I gave up studying at sixteen to try to make it in…

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