Wednesday, January 13, 2021


It takes courage to learn something new. I know it takes a lot of courage for my students at their young ages because they have faced failures and disappointments so much. Many students do not have a strong emotional support system to help them face these obstacles so they shy away from learning new things.

Many believe that being courageous means that you have to be a superhero with superpowers. Maybe courage is a superpower, and all people have it, but most don’t know how to develop it.

How can I help my students have the courage to face new things that come into their lives?

First I need to help them define the word courageous.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Courage means mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

One way I can help them is by sharing everyday stories of people who do courageous things every day. I can have them look in the news to find everyday people who have done something courageous.

People who have terminal illnesses and who are fighting every day to stay alive are also great examples of courage. Despite how miserable they feel, they continue to fight, and I have seen how hard it is. It is much easier to give up but many of them don’t.

I have a friend, P. that is very courageous. She’s had a few rough years dealing with personal matters and has decided to start a new chapter in her life. She is going to move to a new place, get a new job, and work on her personal happiness. I know this wasn’t an easy decision for her and I’ve watched her plan to make this happen. In spite of her doubts and fears, she has pushed forward to making her dream happen and I’m so proud of her. It is hard to start over but her desire to be happy has given her the mental strength to persevere. She is definitely a great example of courage.

To face failure takes courage.

I have a crafting group that is taking January to try something new. The goal is not to succeed at what they are trying to do but to just try it. It can be new crafting techniques, or cooking, or anything in their life that is new to them.

I would have students ask their parents to name something new that they tried recently. Students can also ask other teachers or even friends with this question. In class, they can discuss the different things that people have tried. They can also share if the person succeeded or didn’t.

This would be a great exercise for students to do. They need to find one thing that is new to them (that is not illegal or dangerous) and give it a try. It would be fun to have this discussion in class and teach students how to support each other with encouragement. There may be some students who have done something already that someone hasn’t done before and is going to try. I would explain to them that this is a lesson in courage and how I am so proud of them for giving this a try. At the end of the month, we will discuss how things turned out.

What is something new that you have tried? Did you succeed? Please share.

Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

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