Take a Risk

March 17, 2008 by Brian · 2 Comments · Connecting, Professional Development

I’ve been helping to facilitate a Collegial Learning Circle (CLC) of 20+ educators who are dipping their toes into some new learning environments through the K12 Online Conference. This group is small and made up of professionals who have volunteered. We are using a private group in the K12 Online Ning as a space where this group can meet asynchronously between the few face to face meetings.

Joanna Sero a kindergarten teacher, started a blog prior to the formation of this group. Although I’ve had few conversations with her face to face I really think I’m getting a good sense for the kind of teacher she is by reading her blog. Her post for the Passion Quilt Meme had me thinking that what she has to say reaches far beyond Kindergarten and into the CLC itself:

As a teacher and mom who is passionate about lifelong learning, I challenge myself to be brave and dare to try something new…in the classroom, at home, in the world. Maybe it will work, or maybe it won’t…maybe I will love it, and maybe I won’t, but at least I will give it my best shot. Take it from our children: take a risk!

Only a handful of folks in the CLC have gotten started a month and a half in, however, we’ve got the “stuck faucet” to turn a bit with some face to face support and I, among others, have been working to respond in a very timely manner to folks who do post new discussions or comments. Do you have any suggestions as we try to encourage them to take a risk?

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Tracy

    When I first started as a student teacher, I was VERY AFRAID that I was going to mess something up. I was afraid I would make some terrible mistake or teach some terrible lesson that would result in something… well… terrible.

    My cooperating teacher took me aside and said, ‘Each lesson is one day of one full year, out of a lifetime of years.’ I took that to mean that if you take a risk and mess up- its really not that big of a deal. But if you take a risk and it turns out to be something great- a child will remember it.

    Ever since then, I’ll try anything! Good luck to your group!

  • Brian C. Smith

    Tracy, thanks for the comment! What you wrote reminds me that everything we are doing is part of the process. Life is a journey and we should work to make ourselves better than we were the day before. We cannot continue to do the same things we’ve always done. When we are complacent in what we teach, it is simply that for students. I’d rather be passionate and growing than simply complacent.

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