My family took a road trip to Portland for a little Spring break get away this past week. As we walked the streets of Portland in our favorite neighborhood, I was amazed at how fast the weather changed from sunshine to pouring rain and then back to sunshine again. We were running for cover one moment and then pulling out our sunglasses the next. My journey as an educator feels similar at times. I can shift from courage to fear as quickly as Portland weather shifts from sunshine to rain.
The last few years have been full of change for me as an educator. I’ve moved into new roles of leadership, transitioned from traditional to standards-based grading, integrated 1:1 ipads, and began gamifying my classroom. Each of these changes required me to step out of my comfort zone in a big way. Though I know it took courage to take these giant leaps of faith, it felt an awful lot like fear. Courage is defined: “the ability to do something that frightens one.” Fear is defined: “to be afraid”. Courage is an action; fear is an emotion. When we step out in courage, we often still feel the emotion of fear. However, when we are passionate that what we are doing is vitally important we are able to face fear head on with courage.
As educators, what we do every day IS vitally important. Our students depend on us to be passionate and courageous; striving for new and innovative ways to make learning come alive in our classrooms. Yes, I have and will continue to fail but, with each failure I’ve grown and with each success my confidence has increased significantly. This new year continues to bring opportunities for me to step out in courage. Though fear continues to threaten me to back down and retreat to the safety of my comfort zone, I will not allow it to win. I know that stepping out in courage is the only option.
Tech Integration Specialist in Southern Oregon and author of Make Learning Magical. I'm passionate about finding innovative ways to transform teaching and create unforgettable experiences in the classroom.