The word "fail" should be deleted from the school vocabulary and replaced with the term "deferred success", according to a group of teachers.
Being told they are a failure in class can put children off education for the rest of their lives, they said.
The idea will be put forward by members of the Professional Association of Teachers at the union's annual conference in Buxton, Derbyshire, next week.
Retired primary school teacher Liz Beattie said some children who struggle with academic subjects need help to find success in other areas such as work-related courses.
Mrs Beattie and her colleague Wesley Paxton will propose abolishing the word "fail" in a motion at the conference which, if passed, would mean it becomes union policy.
The motion said: " Conference believes it is time to delete the word 'fail' from the educational vocabulary to be replaced with the concept of 'deferred success'."
Speaking from her home in Ipswich, Suffolk, Mrs Beattie, aged 68, said: "If children at an early age decide, 'I can't do school, I can't learn to read or do this maths stuff,' they are losing an enormous part of their lives.
"Some children who have a problem are being turned off the whole education process almost before they have embarked on it simply because failure is a thing they see quite a lot of."
She added: "We have got to learn to cope with failure throughout life.
"We need to get children coping with the fact that they are not going to get it right first time."