Perhaps a better question is not what is fear, but what are we fearful of? What is fear keeping us from? As I ponder over these questions, I reflect on areas of my own life where fear has kept me from taking risks or reaching a lifelong dream.
- New Role or Position. Many teachers stay in the classroom for their entire professional career despite having personal aspirations of venturing into administration or educational support roles. While financial barriers and family obligations are often cited as legitimate concerns, more likely than not, we often stay put because we would have to leave our comfort zone.
- Speaking Our Mind. Rather than huddling with our peers, scheduling a meeting with an administrator or joining a committee could not only have a positive impact on our students and our schools, but also ourselves - and may even open up career opportunities.
- New Strategies, Methods or Tech Tools. For some of us, our content doesn't change much over the years, however, our student population does and if our lesson delivery remains unchanged we are doing a disservice to our students. Moreover, if we expect our learners to take risks in learning, we must model risk taking ourselves. Most importantly, we must teach them to embrace the growth process and as they embark on a lifetime of learning.
- Failure. Every great invention has started out with failure before it's been a success. When we learn to see failure as a beginning rather than an end, the opportunities for growth are endless. We never set out to fail, but rather than fear it and shy away from it, we should embrace it. Once I realized that my flaws and my shortcomings can be a strength rather than a weakness, my instruction turned around and my students and my own children have been my greatest benefactors.
As I was searching for an appropriate graphic to add to this post, I found the acronym below and it found it aligns perfectly with my thoughts on this topic.
|Image Credit: Knightchatter.com|