Fail Forward

I was reminded what it felt like to be incredibly frustrated with technology.

Perceptions of Failure

I had everything ready for my first BlackBoard Collaborate webinar where I was a guest of Shelee King George for Peer Coaching. My computer was ready, and just in case, I had Plan B set up -- my laptop was booted up with the URL typed in.

When it was time to start, my computer crashed and my laptop froze. Panic. Anxiety. I ended up using our System Admin's computer because neither of mine would reboot.

Pictures by AJUSD's Brian Killgore

I was taking a risk and trying something new, but didn't feel like I was connecting with my audience because I couldn't see nor hear them. Plus, I didn't feel like my calm collected self after the technical errors.

I easily could have dismissed the whole experience and told myself, "I guess it's just not the medium for me, so I'll never try that again."
Time Gives Perspective, even Inspiration

The following two days were filled with fabulous training. I had the privilege of facilitating training for AJUSD's second group of Collaboration Coaches.

During our training, I was inspired by three teachers who used new mediums to create a multi-media presentation to introduce Collaboration Coaching to their staff. They experienced some technical difficulties, but instead of giving up and dismiss using technology, they stuck with it and figured it out.

By falling in the pitfalls, they learned how to successfully navigate around them for next time, to achieve their goal quicker.

Fail Forward

These few days were a great reminder of frustration, but also a reminder to fail forward. Remembering John Maxwell's words of wisdom to pick yourself up and continue on is essential in leadership.

Even though my first webinar did not go the way I envisioned, it went much better than how I perceived it, and the rest of the week was epic. I am glad for the opportunity to learn from perceived failures, and to turn those into successes.

Click here to listen to the recording of the webinar, and skip ahead to 2:30 for the start of our webinar.
  • How do you help others (or yourself) when frustrated with technology?
  • Do you find that time and reflection gives strength and perspective?
  • Failing does not make you a failure. Do you agree? 
  • What do you do to get over a failure?
  • How else does this post connect with you?
Special thanks to Shelee King George and Peer Ed for being so supportive. Collaboration Coaching has made such an amazing impact on our district! Thanks to Brian Killgore for sitting through the webinar, and for the images used here in my post.


    1. Great post and great webinar! Failing forward is difficult at times, but very essential for future success. A leader and teachers must create that in their environment to build a successful team and students. I think we all can remember times growing up when we failed at something and never tried it again. I am not huge on sport references, but they always teach running backs to fall forward when being tackled to pick up those couple extra yards. Same thing goes with any situation or trying something new, you may get tackled, but fall forward and come back the next play and try again. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    2. Thanks JC! I appreciate that as AJUSD becomes focused on learning centered classrooms, our culture is shifting to accepting trying innovative learning (and training), which means working through unknown variables... At times the innovation might fail, but the culture is allowing us to fail forward.

      Kind regards,

    3. Tracy,

      Even though your experience at first was rocky, you got your feet wet and will be better prepared for the next one! I'll listen to the recording - good questions given in the webinar.

      The opportunities with peer coaching are amazing. You've peaked my interest and I'm looking into it as well.


    4. Hi Theresa,

      Peer Coaching is amazing! They are the ones who wrote the coaching curriculum for Microsoft Peer Coaching (used in over 48 countries) and the Puget Sound Model. They are also one of three coaching programs that ISTE highlights.

      If you ever have questions about it, I'd love to be of help!

      Kind regards,


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