Describe a mistake you have made.
You should say:
What it is
When it happened
How you made it
And explain how you felt about this experience
A mistake I made, a big mistake, that really stands out in my mind is when I left my mother’s handbag on the roof of the car by mistake! You see, she had gone into a store to buy some groceries, and took out her handbag and purse. She took her purse with the money in it, and because she needed a free hand to carry the shopping, she gave me the handbag and said, hold this for me while I go into the store. I stood outside the car with the handbag waiting and thinking about nothing in particular. Then I heard my mobile phone ringing in my pocket. So, I put the handbag on the car roof right next to me, to take my phone from my pocket and answer the phone. I chatted to my friend for a while, until my mother returned from the store with the shopping. We put the shopping in the boot of the car, got in, and we drove off. It was only when we were half way home that she said to me “You have the handbag, yeah?” And suddenly my face went white with the realization that I had actually put it down on top of the car to answer the phone and forgot. I told her, in sudden shock, to stop the car. But it was too late, we looked all over the road where we had just been, but it was busy with traffic and impossible to see… also we were quite far from the store at this point so it must have fallen off miles away. She was really really angry with me, and I felt guilty. It was an innocent mistake, but it was very careless of me. I really regret this even today. I feel really stupid and irresponsible about it.
1. Do you think people can learn from mistakes?
Of course. In fact, many psychologists say that one of the key ways we learn is from making mistakes and solving problems ourselves, with some guidance occasionally. Children learn a lot of trial and error – doing something, getting it wrong, thinking about why it went wrong, and trying another method. So, most definitely, we learn a lot from mistakes.
2. Do children make mistakes very often?
Yes, we all make mistakes often, but especially at the early-learning stages of life, children continually make mistakes, and require some guidance from adults. A combination of self-directed learning and adult guidance is best to help young learners develop at a good rate, so I understand.
3. What would parents do if their children make mistakes?
Parents should be supportive and encouraging of children making mistakes. As we now know, it’s an important part of the learning process. If you discourage people from making mistakes they will be intimidated and scared to try things out for themselves, and simply rely on adult instruction, copying peers and regurgitating learned materials. It’s a good thing that children, and adults to some extent, make mistakes and this should be encouraged not discouraged.