What really gets your heart beating faster, palms sweaty, and mouth dry with debilitating fright?

Spiders? Heights? Rats? Ghosts?

For too many people, the fear of failure is the most terrifying of all! What’s worse, the fear of failure can create a hugely detrimental effect on people’s lives, but it doesn’t have to. Most fears dissipate upon closer examination, and failure is no exception to the rule.

So in honor of the spookiest month, I hereby declare October, Failtober! Join me in spending October exploring failure and examining how crucial it actually is to success, and how we can help our students become more comfortable with productive failure early on. If we can help them form healthy relationships with failure, it may be the most precious gift we ever give them!

There are daily and weekly items planned, freebies and resources to be given, and more! Check out what’s coming below!


Daily Failtober Quotes

I’ll be releasing a daily inspirational failure quote on Facebook and Instagram. In fact, I had trouble narrowing the list to 31, so I’m starting a little early with the quotes. Note: Newsletter subscribers have access to the printable/presentation versions of the quotes, so you can easily share these quotes with your students. If you’re not a subscriber yet, you can sign up and receive the quotes as a thank-you gift below.

Create a bulletin board display with the quotes and/or use them as conversation starters or quick writes. We’ll discuss other ideas in the first #Failtober Live session!



Click image below to sign up for the newsletter and receive the print/presentable PDF version of inspirational failure quotes.

Weekly Failtober Video Sessions

In addition to the daily quotes, there are weekly videos with ideas you can focus on with your class to develop a more healthy relationship with failure.

You’ll find each week’s videos embedded in the post below.

Week 1: Launching of Failtober!

Week 2: STEM Ideals = Life Ideals

Week 3: Halloween STEM Challenges

Week 4: How to Handle Epic STEM Challenge Failures

Week 5: Accidents, Mistakes, & Fabulous Failures




Week 1: Launching of Failtober!

We’ll discuss what to expect this month, ways to use the quotes, and clarifying the difference between glorifying abject failure vs. productive failure!


Week 2: STEM Ideals = Life Ideals

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I consider to be STEM Ideals (i.e. traits or habits), and the ability to form a healthy relationship with failure may be the chief among them. I’ve been working on a list of 25 STEM Ideals grouped into five categories: Growth Mindset, Skills & Process, Guiding Principles, Habits of Mind, and Beyond Self. Because I feel so strongly that conquering the fear of failure leads to limitless success, we’re dedicating the entire month to this key ideal. During this live, we’ll make connections between this and other STEM Ideals and how they truly are life ideals. I’ll show you some ways to use these ideals with your students and tell you how to get your hands on related resources!


Note: The Growth Mindset flash freebie has expired, but the Guiding Principles set of STEM Ideals is available for free. 


Week 3: Halloween STEM Challenges

You knew I couldn’t cover a month on productive failure without using STEM Challenges as a fabulous classroom tool to help students develop their resilience, persistence, and stamina in the face of frustration and failure! This week, we’ll go over five Halloween STEM Challenges (and ways to make them non-Halloween if your school won’t allow it). I’ll connect you to the resources, video walk-throughs, and rank the challenges in order of ease of implementation.


Find the Halloween STEM Challenges here.

Week 4: How to Handle Epic STEM Challenge Failures

The perfect follow-up for Halloween STEM Challenges is how to handle an epic STEM Challenge failure (minor ones too) with your students so you don’t inadvertently promote unhealthy reactions to failure. This might be the most important week to tune in, so mark your calendar!


See more resources to walk your students through exactly how to persevere and keep going through an epic fail.


Week 5: Accidents, Mistakes, and Fabulous Failures

I’ll recap the key points of Failtober and I’ll give you some resource ideas (books, podcasts, articles, etc.) of how to use these with your students, why it’s important, and ways to continue exploring productive failure with your class.



Here’s the Fail Forward blog post I mentioned in the video.




Pin Me! Don’t Forget Me! 

One of the trickiest and scariest problems teachers face is helping students overcome the fear of failure with growth mindset traits like resilience, grit, persistence and determination. The fear of failure can so adversely affect our students lives that I'm devoting a whole month to it -- the scariest month of the year -- Failtober! Click through to the blog to see what's in store!