Week Eight & Nine: Failing Forward

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Friday, August 3, 2018


Krystina Williamson

“Failing forward.” - Matthew Peterie

Dear Internet,

I just want to briefly highlight a phrase I learned this week--it’s called “failing forward.” Failing forward is an engineering principle, it’s the idea that through learning we will make mistakes, but learning from them, and hence, still moving forward. The past two weeks have been so busy, and I haven’t had much time to write, so I’m going to combine them into one. Even so, I’m sure that this blog post won’t be a sufficient recalling of my the past two amazing weeks--so many amazing things have happened!

In week eight of this internship, the AAPT/AIP Policy Fellowship started. I spent Saturday and Sunday getting to know the policy fellows, especially the NYC member, as I served as her temporary partner. (The other half of the NYC team was in India until Tuesday). Education policy is a field that was definitely a little scary for me--and it turns out it’s a little scary for the teachers as well.

During that week we went to so many associations and talked to many people, like the Department of Education, National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Governors Association--and these are just a handful of places out of the many. I went home each day exhausted (hence this late blog post). I’m so proud of how much the teachers have learned in the past eight days. I’m honored to know them, and to have learned about education policy alongside them.

Immediately after the policy fellowship there was the AAPT summer meeting--the biggest one yet. At this meeting around 1,400 attended between Sunday and Wednesday. I manned the K-12 Teacher Lounge with Alice, author of many digikits, and Justine, the intern in my position last summer. I met teachers from all over the country, and even a handful of professors from countries like Germany. During the summer meeting, I also went to the Step Up 4 Women workshops, and the undergraduate poster session. Although exhausting, it was a great time. If you’re reading this blog post, anonymous person on the internet, you should go to the next AAPT meeting.

After the AAPT meeting, I spent most of my day running errands and sleeping (I’ve been working the past two weekends!) At the end of the week, however, we saw Sam’s presentation, as he’s leaving early for another conference. Unsurprisingly, his presentation was excellent, and definitely set the bar high for our presentations next week. At this meeting we also all got to meet Dr. Mather (pictured below), who gave me some great tips on books to read.

Next week is my last week in D.C., and I don’t know how to feel about that yet…

Su favorito,



Krystina Williamson