Making Mistakes

It’s OK to Make Mistakes                    

A Story about Risking a Little to Learn a Lot!

Hi, I’m Max and I’m twelve years old. I find school really hard. My teachers say I need to take part in lessons. They tell my dad that I never ask questions or share my work or suggest answers. When I go home, I spend ages on my homework, making sure it’s perfect – it drives my father crazy! My friends think I never have an opinion about anything…

The thing is, I’m really scared of making mistakes and making a fool of myself in front of others. So I never ask questions in class – people might call my questions – or me – stupid. I never try to answer something or take part in class discussions, because if I am not totally sure it is 100% correct, before I can say something, I won’t risk making a mistake in front of others. My fear is that people will laugh at me and call me names.

Two weeks ago, I was doing some research for my science project and I was surprised to read about some great discoveries that only came because people made mistakes. For example:

Christopher Columbus set sail on his ship in search of a new way of getting to Asia. He miscalculated the Earth’s circumference and landed in a new world – America – by mistake!

Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped some India rubber mixed with sulphur on to a hot oven, discovering the use of rubber. Have you heard of the Goodyear tyres?

Even my favourites, crisps, were discovered by mistake! Chef George Crum invented crisps when a customer at a restaurant returned his fries to the kitchen because he didn’t like them. In anger, Crum sliced them as thinly as possible, over-fried them and covered them with salt. The customer was very happy with the taste! Imagine that mistake hadn’t been made!

Making mistakes is about trying something new, or different, and learning from it. Others can learn from my mistakes too. After all, everyone makes mistakes – except for those people who never try anything at all. Hmm…I wonder if one of my mistakes could one day lead to a cool discovery!

Things to Think About:

  • What type of mistakes do you make mostly?
  • How do you feel when you make a mistake?
  • How do others react when you make a mistake?
  • What can you learn from your mistakes?

produced in collaboration with registered Gestalt Psychotherapists:

1. Geraldine Borg, / 7932 4008

2. Nadine Castillo, / 9945 2436  

3. Karen Schranz. / 9942 8395

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