Back-to-School Risk Taking

Back-to-School can be both exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. Students are excited to see their friends and discover their new schedules, but in classes where the relationships have not yet been established that affective filter is high, high, high. Convincing them that it’s a good thing to put themselves out there and make mistakes is hard in those first few weeks!

This was the fortune in the cookie that came with my most recent take-out order, and it could not have been more perfectly timed. This is something that I’m always trying to remind students of – making mistakes is expected, natural and necessary. As I always say – if you never make any mistakes, then there’s no reason for me to even have my job!

But beyond being a good reminder for students, it’s a great reminder for me as well. Going into year four of teaching, I know that there are going to be days when I knock it out of the park with my lesson. I also know that there will be far more days when I get it totally, utterly wrong. And that’s okay – but the fear of failure shouldn’t stop me from at least trying things that are new, innovative, and completely beyond my comfort zone. With enough time, practice and reflection, things that were once new and scary will become tried-and-true.

Hang in there, teachers and students – take a risk, dare to fail, and know that with a little time and persistence you will know success!

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