Sunday, September 25, 2016

Are you a TRUE risk taker?

We often ask our students to take risks and dig into the unknown.  We encourage and support the idea of “failing forward” and see a fail or an error as an attempt towards moving successfully towards the goal.  As educators we do the same to each other; “Let’s try this”, “That didn’t work, let’s explore it another way.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for that.  I do the same the things.  I encourage and support risk taking in my classroom.  I’m the first to offer suggestions to others. I’ve recently thought deeper about this though.  As educators, are we truly “risk takers”?

I’m talking the vulnerable, put yourself outside your comfort zone, risk taking. Nothing to do with education.  We’ve got that.  When’s the last time you really tried to do something new?  Something you were afraid of doing?  Something that looks like you’d like to try, but never have done?  What’s holding you back?

Many people speak about the benefits of yoga, and my running coach even suggested it to me.  I never thought that I would physically be able to do it, so I never tried. People kept talking about and how much they enjoyed it so I let myself be very vulnerable, went in early, talked to the instructor and found a way to make yoga work for me. I now go to classes four to five times a week!  Had I not tried and taken the risk, I would never have known how much I enjoy it.

It’s time for us to really take risks, to put ourselves in the shoes that we ask others to do daily.  Is it taking an art class?  Cooking class?  Karate?  Sky Diving?  What is something new that you can learn to do?  What risk are you willing to take?  

I want thank Sean Wheeler @mrwheeler for the inspiration for this post.  At an EdCamp just this weekend he prompted us to think of what “learning” truly is.  What are we willing to learn?  Thank you Sean for encouraging vulnerability in your building!  I encourage everyone to attend an EdCamp at some point.  Perhaps this can be your future risk!


  1. Jodie,
    Thanks for sharing! I also tried Yoga for the first time this summer and loved it. Been nearly 4 months now. I agree that we need to model true risk taking in all parts of our life for our students, peers, and for our own growth. Keep at it!

  2. Thanks Jon! We really need to model what we ask for. I'm a firm believer in that!
    I'm always willing to try something new! Who knows - worth a try, right!