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  • Writer's pictureViva Sarah Press

Can you say, I don’t know?

Can you say, “I don’t know”?

Say it out loud.

I say it all the time.

For me, “I don’t know” means “I have to find out.” If I don’t know something, I will set out to learn it.

But for my kids, saying, “I don’t know” can be scary.

Does it communicate failure if you don’t know?

It is easier to play along like you do know. Until a certain point.

This question – Can you say, "I don’t know?" – is one of the key points in the educational talk I give on failure.

A new talk for 2021 kicks off next week. It’s called לצלוח את הכישלון in Hebrew, it’s an updated version of our 2020 talk, Let’s Fail Together. Maya and I have a whole set of new examples of failures, what you can learn from them and why making mistakes or failing is a part of life. We’re also gearing up to conduct a Zoom vocal symphony of some 300 ninth-graders saying, “I don’t know.”

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