As 2016 drew to a close, I chose two words to be my focus in the year ahead "Savor & Share". Savor the moments with those I hold dear and the experiences that are to come. Share my journey, both the failures and successes, as a way to give back to so many that have given to me. Savoring will come somewhat easy, however it's the sharing that is going to stretch me. To share means I am allowing myself to be vulnerable. I can say I'm not going to worry what people think about what I write and share, but it's easier said than done. Everytime I click the post button there is a feeling of fear in sending my thoughts into the unknown unsure of how they will be recieved..
We are closing in on our last of four snow days. Yes, you heard me right....we have had four snow days back to back that tagged right onto the end of our Winter break. That being said, I've had a lot of time to think about the year ahead and the fear that is threatening the commitments that I've made. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Self doubt... and then it hit me. Isn't this what my students struggle with too. Fear of what's to come after high school. Fear of failure. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of making the wrong college and career choices. Fear of what success may bring.
What do I do when my students struggle with these same feelings? I give them encouragement and support. I tell them to not give up and that I"m rooting for them. I give them specific feedback and challenge them to reach beyond what they think is possible. I share my own fears and struggles to let them know they are not alone. I'd like to say that I give every student just the right amount of all of these things, yet I know I'm far from perfect. However, it is my hope that every student in my classes would know that I believe in them and feel that same level of encouragement and support.
When I think about the fear that paralyzed me at times this past year, what brought me out of it was the encouragement and support of others. Support from my family, friends, colleagues, and PLN. It was the specific feedback that was given that gave me the confidence and courage to risk again. It was knowing that others believed in me that moved me from paralyzation to action. As I made this commitment to blog weekly in 2017, I have asked for the support of my PLN and family to help hold me accountable. They have already been a great source of encouragement as I've begun sharing my thoughts with the world.
Sharing my story through blogging and speaking is scary....really scary. To put my thoughts and ideas out there for all to see is vulnerable. There are moments I feel paralyzed by what I've committed to and what lies ahead. However, the impact that other's sharing has made on my journey has been profound. If I let fear cripple me, how will I ever have the opportunity to make an impact on another's journey. I also know that documenting my journey through this blog is important for my own self reflection and growth. I have no idea how this blog will take shape or what adventures sharing will lead me on. However, I know that I can't give up. I know that my support system is rooting me on and giving me the courage to face each challenge that lies ahead. Fear will not win.
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.