In If You Never Try to Be Brave, It Certainly Won’t Happen from Bud the Teacher, Bud Hunt shares,
“It pains me that the climate in schools is so risk-averse and so anti-teacher that teachers who are really good at what they do are also hesitant to lean in to something different – for so many reasons.
If you don’t ever face the scary things, you can’t ever work on being brave. And being brave, even just a little bit and even just a little of the time, is so important."
Let’s face it, veteran teachers have been burned enough that it can be scary trying something new.
Sometimes our school decided to try a new strategy school wide. This means incorporating it in my lesson plans and showing that I’m using it and how I’m using it. By doing this, I’m spending a lot of time changing how I teach and what I do. I take time to get vested in this and willing to give it my all. What frustrates me at the end of the year is that many other teachers haven’t bothered trying this and then the school just drops this new strategy and it disappears. When this happens over and over again, I feel like why should I even bother!
Sometimes I have a great idea and I really want to try something new. Yet, I know that there will be many who shake their head at my ideas and try to discourage me. There may be some that laugh at me and some how will tell me that I’m wasting my time.
But I’m not willing to give up and throw in the towel. I want to try and keep on trying. I want to be brave enough to try something new. What is the worst thing that can happen? That it won’t work. I don’t think that by trying new strategies or techniques, that I will harm my students.
Many students have told me that they have respected me more because I was willing to keep trying to find ways to help them instead of giving up. When they see that I’m not willing to give up, it helps them to keep on trying. I tell them that I can relate to their frustration because I’m trying right along side them and that we will support each other. They see me as a role model and are willing to work at things even though they are difficult.
I think when our students see the teacher afraid to try or are willing to give up, I am sending the wrong message that everything is hopeless. To me, this is more damaging then failing. I explain to my students that we have to keep trying different things until we find the key that will open up their understanding but if we never try, and then we know we will never find the key. At least by trying, there is hope. With hope, you have everything.
How do you show your bravery in your class? What impact does it have on your students? Please share.