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225 Friend Street, Suite 704
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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

Creating a "culture of error" among teachers and leaders

Teachers rely on student errors to help guide their instruction and tailor support to what students need most. But how do teachers and leaders can get that same information about their own performance so they can be proactive when it comes to development?

Teachers rely on student errors to help guide their instruction and tailor support to what students need most. But how do teachers and leaders get that same information about their own performance so they can be proactive when it comes to development?

Creating a culture of error not only for students, but for adults, too, is a critical first step to accelerate improvement. Doug Lemov says it best: A culture of error is “an environment where [teachers] feel safe making and discussing mistakes, so you can spend less time hunting for errors and more time fixing them.” 

Read this blog post from Doug Lemov to better understand why establishing a culture of error among teachers and leaders is a key ingredient of great schools. Leader-to-leader, his insights will help you plan your own approach.

When teachers and leaders are open about the challenges they’re up against, they’re able to jump to thinking about what they can do to improve much more quickly. Time and energy is no longer spent trying to uncover challenges and struggles, but on developing high-need, high-impact areas of teacher and leader practice. Mistakes become something to share rather than hide, because they're seen as an essential ingredient for improvement.

Use this planning guide to deepen your own understanding of Culture of Error and begin to plan for how you will create an environment where teachers and leaders see challenges and failures as opportunities to grow.