One of the first conversations I have with a new class is about taking risks. Not like jumping off a roof on a skateboard kind of risk, but a raising your hand even if you aren't sure you have a good answer kind of risk. We make connections to this when we learn about historical figures or read stories where characters really took a risk to be who they truly are.
We read several books throughout the year to drive that point home-some of my favorites:
As important as I think it is to encourage kids to be risk-takers in the classroom, I also think teachers need to model that themselves in their teaching. My OLW-(One Little Word) for this year is "bold" and I have referred back to that often in making a decision whether or not to try something new. It has definitely made me more of a risk-taker this year and I LOVE it! A few examples: I am doing celebrations to incorporate vocabulary instruction, my kids are making digital stories, I joined Instagram (Twitter is next :), next month I am trying student-led conferences, I started a club for enrichment-art and chess, a journalism club for a school newsletter, I am completely avoiding negative people.
Did all of those things work out perfectly?-- no-but I believe we can always grow as teachers and trying new ideas is part of that, learning from our mistakes, retooling ideas to work better next time.
What risks have you taken this year or encouraged your kiddos to take?