I like a failure in the classroom - not in the newsroom. In college you try, fail, learn, repeat. Fail in college instead of failing out there.
 
Over the years I've created controlled-failure scenarios — lessons explicitly designed for a high failure rate. Yes, I manipulate failure for motivational reasons. From these scenarios students can learn from failure, acknowledge problems and improve the process for the next time. The majority of my students initially hate the lesson, but when it's done they find value in the method. They learn it's ok to fail so they can learn from it.

I do hope student don't feel deceived by any of my exercises. The students are the very reason I teach. I know some become discouraged, and most I help climb out of the despair—except when I don't.

There are always moments I notice students not living up to their unrealized existence. That's what I'm here for—except when I'm not. 

Time to admit my failure. Time to acknowledge a problem. Time to improve my process. 

You see I've failed a few students, not a lot, but a few. They weren't meeting my expectations, so I lowered my expectations. They didn't give it their all, so I didn't give it my all. Did I want them to fail—and drop out? It indeed does appear neither the student nor the teacher made best efforts to succeed. We both lacked motivation. I have to ask myself, did I communicate my low expectations to the student without realizing it? 

I'm taking a Motivation in Education class. My textbook, Motivating Students to Learn, has a chapter on Rebuilding Discouraged Students' Confidence and Willingness to Learn. There is a quote at the beginning, "If the goal is maximum performance from all students, the schools must provide hope to all students that increased effort can result in success."

I didn't provide hope to all students. What's worse, they likely saw their outcome as hopeless. My job is to motivate students to learn, not push them not to learn.  When patience and encouragement were needed, I was intolerant and despondent.  

I knew the student wasn't doing well. They weren't learning; they were failing. Did I criticize failure more than praising success? Did I appreciate the student less often on success? Did I interact less, sometimes just avoid interaction all together? The answer is yes. I failed to motivate a student to learn. Now what?

Now it's time for me to learn from my failure like I expect my students to do. I know I'll likely instruct low achievers in future classes which means I need to plan my approach and be aware of how I am interacting to make sure I'm not communicating low expectations. Instead, I'll give them more of my time. I will praise more often and look to provide positive, constructive feedback, especially in public.  I'll invest my time with more interaction.  I will demand more of them, and more of myself. 
 
While I welcome failure as a teaching tool for my students and myself, I refuse to fail at motivating my students.