Take risks: we owe it to our students

I’ve always been one to take risks and to try new things in hopes of improving. As I’ve said before, when I do something, it’s going to be to the best of my ability. That is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about innovation in education and why I am always looking to learn and grow as a teacher.

This week, I received the most beautiful email from a parent. Here it is, without names:

Hi Annick,

Just wanted to say thanks again for welcoming me into the class last week. Student is still talking about how cool it was that mom got to come help out 🙂 I really appreciate it!

Also, I just wanted to share that I am blown away by how some of the teachings I know you have built your classroom around have taken root in the last few weeks with Student. It seems like every day he’s sharing a new tidbit of what he’s learned, but what’s really exciting for me is more than him telling us, we are seeing him implement things in his daily life. His level of personal responsibility for instance: he’s always had jobs at home and has always been expected to help, but suddenly he’s often doing those jobs or even offering to help with extra things without being asked or prompted. He’s also approaching conflict, particularly with his little brother, more positively (which is a HUGE relief as I’m sure you can relate to!). After seeing the way your classroom operates first hand, I have realized how much of those little positive changes are coming home from school. This realization prompted me to re-read the blog post you shared a week or so ago and I wanted to say nothing about your approach to teaching makes you “sound mean” in my eyes. Quite the opposite, in fact! I see you taking a similar approach to teaching that I (and I expect you) take to parenting, which is that while we are steadfast in our love and support, our job is to help kids learn to be functioning people in their own right. And if that means a bit of extra noise along the way, then so be it! Thank you for doing what you do, and for not being afraid to try a new approach in your teaching. It’s very exciting for our family to be along for the ride!

Hope you have an awesome day!

Cheers,

Mother

I keep coming back to this email and reading it over and over again. Yes, part of me reads it because it’s so nice to hear the positive and to be reminded of the good that I am doing, but I’m also drawn to rereading it because it is proof that it is so important for us to take risks. We owe it to our students to take risks in order to try to better ourselves, better our teaching and be an example of life long learners. Out of all of the risks that I’ve ever taken, I’ve never had catastrophic failures. I’ve definitely failed, but I’ve learned from them and kept on trying! And in the end, isn’t that what we want from our students? We don’t expect perfection, we simply ask for them to try and try again.


Risk taking can lead to the most beautiful things, even if we don’t realize it right away. So please, try something new, change things up, and take those risks. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

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