August 11

FILE UNDER: Rainbow English School ~ Scribblisms

Scribblisms "Failure to Succeed" "Sab Will" "Rainbow English School"My latest Scribblism is delightfully simple yet timelessly profound.

Even in writing those words above, I ask myself, can there still be anyone who doesn’t agree that making mistakes is OK; a perfectly natural and, indeed, essential part of the learning process.

But then I remember back to my school days when corporal punishment – i.e. teachers HITTING children – was still occasionally performed – yes, I’m that old – and I realise that a dim view of ‘getting things wrong’ is not so far away, even in relatively advanced countries.

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I will never forget some of my first times teaching English here in France. I remember asking a group of adults how they had done in a grammar quiz I’d given them with 20 questions. I was puzzled and perturbed to hear them telling me that they had ‘only’ got 17, 13 or 15 out of 20, with tortured looks of embarrassment and shame on their faces, like they were little terrorised kids back in school again!

But that’s fine, I remonstrated, that’s great, why are you looking so glum?

Mad Sab Lab ToonThen it dawned on me. I’d been expecting them to tell me how many answers they had got right, but these fine people were automatically telling me how many questions they had got wrong. How many they had failed on. In effect, just how totally bad they were. Because that’s what they had done throughout their school lives.

I dedicate this Scribblism to them, and the innocent little kids they once were.


Sab Will is… the synergistic sum of decidedly disparate parts (see above).

© Sab Will 2016 ~ Text & Scribblism