If we want our students to (insert word) it starts with us

As teachers, we have a great responsibility. We are entrusted with 24 (maybe more or maybe less) random children. Our job is to impart some sort of knowledge so that they are ready for the world that awaits them but one most important parts is that we show them that they are capable of anything. But I guess the question is how do we do this?

Being a parent has been one of the greatest things and the most frustrating thing that could ever have happened to me. It has taught me to be more patient, to be a better teacher and to value every moment I have with them and it has also given me many many grey hairs (which you would see if I didn’t shave it off every two weeks). That being said one of the most frustrating parts is that my kids won’t take risks and it’s not because I haven’t tried to encourage them or to help there is just something that holds them back. This thought has been frustrating me for some time. I know that all kids are different (we see that in our classrooms) and I know that risk takes time but I feel like there is more to it; like something is missing.

But the more and more I have thought about this the more and more I pin it back on me. When I come up to a new challenge do I inadvertently shy away? Do I some how model a hesitance to try something new and take that risk. For better or for worse we are the models that they follow and the example we set for them is the example they internalize and create for themselves.

This goes back to our classroom. We all want our students to be curious, competent learners. We want them to feel safe to make mistakes and take that leap of faith but do we truly model this for them?

If we want our students to truly be in charge of their learning, to feel safe to take risks we have to model what that looks like. We have to be willing to try something new and incorporate it into our teaching practice. We have to be willing to fail in front of our peers and students and say that’s okay, what did I learn.

This is just a short thought that I have been having. My hope is not to question but to maybe make you ponder. I am still thinking this through but I wonder if over time, if we as teachers take more risks to try “one thing” a month, than our students will also start to take more risks to try something new.

I love to hear your thoughts on this as I haven’t fully formed an opinion or a side. And if you are trying something new I would love to hear about that too. Hit me up in the comments or tweet me @mrsoclassroom.