If you have ever worked alongside of me, or sat in my class, you will know that my go-to word for a setback is “Stink!”  Stink moments happen regularly in my day to day world. Let me give you a very common example: I love to entertain and I also love to cook.  Every time we invite friends to share a meal with us, I try a new recipe or two. 🤔 Now, I am sure that some of you reading this post will say “I do that as well!” 😃While others, like my loving family, will cry out “Why do you do that?!?” 😁 Sometimes the food is fabulous, sometimes “Meh”, and sometimes it stinks. Yet, I continue on in this meal planning madness. 

Today, while idly thumbing through Facebook posts looking for new Tasty video recipes, I was intrigued by an article a friend posted about a CV of Failures created by a Princeton professor, Johannes Haushofer. Wow.  A public record of “stink” moments. He ends his resume with the heading Meta-Failures and records 2016 as the year where “this darn CV of failures has received way more attention than my entire body of academic work.” Like many others, this resonates with me – and resonates deeply.

My post reading reflections run in many directions.  I immediately connected to Carol Dweck’s work on Mindset.  This is where learning happens; when we take risks and persevere. STINK! I also aligned Haushofer’s candid honesty to my own learning about Mental Health first aid. Young people need to hear our stories.  Life doesn’t always go as planned.  STINK! I recalled Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy’s work, A Rich Seam, How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning. New Change Leadership creates a culture where mistakes are accepted, discussed, and deep learning is the result. STINK! Lastly, my mind travels back to my own Principals’ Learning Network with Dr. Steven Katz.  When we were positioned to be vulnerable and open with each other about mistakes and professional failures with each other, our learning was enhanced, memorable and transformative. STINK!

Thank you Dr. Haushofer for posting your CV of Failures.  Now, I have a dinner party to prepare for.  😊 It is time to be surprised!


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