Believe it or not, I think teachers get scared. I know I do. That may be part of the reason why some teachers don’t practice what they preach… learning isn’t always easy! However, once we decide to take the plunge, not only do we unlock doors to new worlds of knowledge but we can also identify with our students. Imagine running alongside your students while they leap over hurdles on their educational journey instead of merely coaching from the sidelines? It certainly takes commitment.
I admit that I hesitate when I’m faced with the possibility of using new ideas in my classroom. I’m doing alright, my kids are learning… why change? Because change is necessary. Because change helps you grow. I didn’t sign up for a job that had a finite description; there are infinite possibilities within each classroom. Each child is different, each class reacts in a different way to the same material you have presented to others, technology changes (almost too fast), expectations are modified, the list goes on and on.
We should have faith in ourselves as learners. After reading an article by John Hattie, I developed a bit of courage as he quoted William James:
Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf.
Although it would be much easier to use the same assignments again and again, my conscience would not let me sleep at night. So, on I go… down the road to explore and discover. If I make a mistake, I think it will be just fine. Who knows, maybe my students can teach me a few things while I learn!