Sunday, January 12, 2014

Take a Risk to Put Yourself Out There

On our teacher in-service day this week, I sat in my classroom for about ten straight minutes. All I did was think about how far I have come from five and a half months ago when I first got hired. I can remember sitting in my room then with NO idea of where I was headed with my kids, lessons, and colleagues. In one word, I was terrified. I had no idea whether or not I was truly prepared to do this every day. I was shy, and I was afraid to speak in front of my co-workers for the fear of sounding like I shouldn't be there. Five and half months later, I thought about the fact that I had made it! I don't feel like it was survival mode (or at least a majority of it). My goal was for my students to learn, and I feel like I am doing that. My fears were quickly conquered when I realized that this is what I have worked for, and it is now or never. There is no time to slow down and worry. I just had to make it work. I make mistakes daily. There is no doubt about that, but I can handle them and recognize them for the future. This was enough to start my new semester in Room 911 even better than the last. I had no idea that I was about to have another life affirming moment.

I joined Twitter originally because the author of a blog I loved uses it for professional development by communicating with educators all around the globe. I took the opportunity to learn from anyone, so I joined. I was not very active. I would watch all the Twitter chats, but I would never participate. I just took the time to soak in the knowledge of the ones who I truly felt were more knowledgeable than myself. This weekend, I decided it was time to put myself out there. I joined in the Twitter chat that I was watching. What do you know? I was not torn down, but quite the opposite, I was told what a good point that was. More conversations stemmed from what I had said, and I was able to participate. I thought to myself, "I really have come a long way from who I was at the end of my college career. It is okay to try new things as a professional and as an individual."

I think so often we are afraid of making mistakes that we don't put ourselves on the line enough. This could be in our classrooms as teachers, in our personal lives, or in front of those we find intimidating. No matter what the situation is, I am learning that it is okay to put ourselves in new situations because more often than not, you will be affirmed rather than torn down. I tell my students daily, "Our class is a safe learning environment. We are here to support one another, so we will take risks, and if we make mistakes that is okay because we will learn from them to do better in the future." I wasn't living by those words...I was shying away from everything because I was afraid. This past week has taught me that it is okay. We make mistakes; that is human. It is what we do after the mistake that matters the most. The risk often turns into a wonderful story for you.

Question of the Day:
What new situation will you put yourself in this week?
Do you have a way you want to grow as a person?

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