My Failure Resume

“The real measure of success is the number of experiments that can be crowded into 24 hours.” Thomas Edison

There is benefit in celebrating failure.  In fact, instead of talking about my failures, I want to get in the habit of calling all of my botched projects experiments.  I know that working on big, audacious projects makes people uncomfortable.  That’s okay.  I try to run at the hardest parts of the problem first and make that my path of least resistance.  I learn as much as I can and then try again. 

I work to reframe all of my failures as learning experiences.

  • The Socratic Readers Guild (TSRG)

    TSRG is my attempt to integrate book clubs in my classroom. Unfortunately, with a newly mandated basal reading curriculum, I was forced to have book clubs only one day per week. Our first round of TSRG failed leading to disbanded groups and students reading and completing book report projects individually.

    Iteration #2 will consist of new groups and a different structure.

  • Teaching in Pandemic: Year 1

    I documented my return to the classroom (and failures to effectively teach) during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

  • X Lab

    X Lab was a set of professional learning opportunities for teachers focusing on design thinking, visual thinking, innovation, and innovating one’s pedagogical practice. The goal was to build teachers' exponential mindsets to improve student learning experiences. District cancelled the project.

  • Aspen Ideas Festival

    I solicited the Aspen Institute to speak at their Ideas Festival conference in Aspen, CO. 

    They never replied to my emails.

  • Book Projects 2018-2019

    I have started writing and stalled on three non-fiction book projects for teachers and one memoir about my journey as an educator.

    I'm not giving up on these failures.

  • December 2018

    I created a mock-up app for teachers could find STEM resources, schedule coaching, and as a chat-based interface to discover how to do the impossible in their classrooms.

    Funding for this project was not approved.

  • December 2018

    I wanted to install customer satisfaction devices/kiosks throughout schools so students could rate their teachers and learning experiences.  I also wanted teachers to rate their professional learning.

    This project was cost prohibitive.

  • November 2018

    I collaborated on an idea to create STEM lessons around Dude Perfect trick shots.  Students would engineer the perfect trick shot and then present the necessary math and science for success.

    District administration felt that trick shots were not appropriate for classroom learning.

  • October 2018

    EnCORE was a collaborative project in order to create an internal publication for teachers to showcase the most innovative things happening in their classrooms and districts.

    We published and distributed one issue. Future issues were barred from publication.

  • June 2017

    I initiated a potential collaboration with Deloitte Digital's Denver office.  The plan was to design a better way for teachers to connect with each other using technology and give them a platform/app to start with the number of projects STEM provides.

    This project/collaboration was cost prohibitive.

  • June 2016

    In one final attempt to make my doctoral work more accessible to the public, I worked with an artist to convert my dissertation into a comic.

    I abandoned the project early.

  • November 2016

    I developed a proof-of-concept for a full-day reverse engineering bicycle STEM day for K-5 students.  Kids would spend the day learning how to repair, design, and build their very own bike.  They could even learn how to ride it home!

    The project was never happened because it competed with another STEM day event in the district.

  • Dissertation Blog

    I converted my doctoral dissertation into a series of blog posts and shared them on social media.  

    I don't think anyone has read this blog.

  • June 2015

    I presented my doctoral dissertation at a learning conference.  I wanted to have a live Twitter chat during my presentation using #STEMequalAccess.

    Only 3 of my friends participated in the Twitter chat.

  • October 2015

    When James Sanders presented his idea for BreakoutEDU at a conference, I volunteered to create my own learning game centered on STEM.

    I gave up when it got difficult to create.

  • 2015-2016

    I pitched my school administration to purchase and use IdeaPaint dry-erase paint in school.  I wanted to pilot its use in my classroom and then scale it throughout the building in other classrooms.

    The answer was no.

  • December 2013

    I created an online course for the staff at my Elementary school to help continue the race inequity education we participated in as a school.

    No one participated and the course was abandoned.

  • June 2012

    I volunteered to lead a panel discussion at Denver's first annual Comic Con.  The topic was how to use comic literature in the classroom.  I shared my story and gave some recommendations for teachers.

    Few people attended and I was over-dressed.

  • November 2011

    This online novel study presented my students with a more authentic way of interacting with the novel Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.  

    Used it once and abandoned the project.

  • October 2011

    I joined The Graphic Classroom as a Staff Writer to review high quality, educational-worthy, graphic novels and comics for teachers to use in their  classrooms. I read and reviewed various graphic novels on this blog and gave it a rating.

    The blog folded a year after I started.

  • August 2004

    I started a poetry blog as an attempt to create my own creative writing online network.  I solicited feedback and critiques for my poetry (and reciprocated in return). 

    I received about 12 comments.