Some people are better at this than others. To those of you who don't give a second thought to the knots in your stomach, we hate you...no, not really, but those of us who do not appreciate the racing heart and sweaty palms are certainly jealous. Despite these differences, no matter where you are on the continuum, stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things will benefit you. You know a good place to start? Your classroom. Did I really just say that? Yes, I did. I talk to teachers all the time who say, "I would really like to try some of what you're sharing, but what if (insert possible problem here)? My response to you today is, but what if trying something new and facing your fears teaches you something about yourself? And what if everything works perfectly? What if your students learn that one thing that changes their life? It's possible. You won't know until you try. And what if you fail? Well, let's take a minute to redefine failure.
"Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up." ~Chinese proverb
So is trying something new and it not working the way you planned failure? Absolutely not! Failure is the refusal to try again when the first attempt did not go as planned. But why is it necessary to try new things?
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." ~Theodore Roosevelt
So the question to ask yourself when you consider not changing your game is this: are you "daring mighty things?" Are your students seeing the wonders and possibilities of life as you guide them through this short chapter while you have their attention? Do not downplay the significance of what you do every day. And do not let fear to keep you stagnant during your moment to change the world. Be fearless!
In just the past few months, Lee County School System has seen a lot of changes. We've been given opportunities to learn and we are working hard at making the most of these precious moments. We're stepping outside of our box, doing new things, and doing our best at being fearless. It is when embrace these things that we can truly make our mark on the world.
So what are we doing to better equip ourselves and others to "be fearless?' A team of us from every school in Lee County had the opportunity last week to attend the Georgia Educational Technology Conference and learn from the best and brightest. I have to tell you, I have never seen a more excited, more motivated group than the one I returned with Friday. We learned a lot (to the point where all of us had headaches) and we are all trying out new tools, techniques, and strategies over the coming weeks. We cannot wait to share our experiences with you! Stay tuned for some ways to step out in your own classroom and Be Fearless!
These are just a few of the moments captured while we were in Atlanta! I will add more soon.