Monday, September 18, 2017

Taking Risks

Two years ago at this time of year I was going through treatment for breast cancer. I had my second chemo treatment at the end of the first week of school. Going through that changes a person in many ways, one thing that I vowed to myself was that I needed to say "yes" to things more. Take more risks, try new things. I had been invited to student birthday parties many times and always declined that invitation-I didn't want to cause any drama. That year I accepted an invitation for Ruby and I to attend a party in the park and it was amazing! The students were talking about it for days. I was proud of myself for saying yes.

I have gotten offers to do professional development trainings that would require travel before and automatically turned it down-I didn't even really consider it. This past summer I got an offer to do a training for teachers in San Antonio and because my new policy was to say "yes" that's exactly what I did! Friday night I drove 350 miles, stayed in a hotel by myself (I think that's the first time I have ever done that) and on Saturday morning I presented my ideas to sessions of teachers twice. When you are putting something like this together it's absolutely taking a risk. What if they already do all these things I'm showing them? What if they roll their eyes at these ideas?

It actually went really well. When I started my blog in 2010 I never imagined that people would actually read it. I had teachers telling me that they have tried my ideas in their classes and that they would be able to use these ideas I was sharing with them. I'm just so glad I did it.

I was not raised to be a risk-taker. When I was younger I was never a color outside the lines kind of person. It's something I have to consciously work on but I know I'm getting better at it. We need to do better for our students. We need to model for them being risk-takers ourselves and read them stories about risk-takers, teach them about people from history who might have made waves but also made history. They need to have the confidence to try new things and maybe they will find they have talents they didn't know they had.

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