|Photo courtesy of Allen Spears - Creative Commons Licensed|
Educators are being asked to take on a lot today when it comes to improving instructional practice and educational outcomes. Whether it be increasing student engagement, embracing new tools and concepts for instructing students (or having students create and demonstrate knowledge), re-thinking educational spaces, or a long list of other topics that impact our work with students, the reality is that it can feel overwhelming.
However, in synthesizing the larger message of these changes in practice, there is one clear theme that surfaces. Change is evident and inescapable. A hyper-connected world is a world that is dynamically changing. If an educator's primary responsibility is readying students for the life that they will one day face, we must prepare them to ready for a life of ongoing change.
It's an understandable feeling to just want to throw up your hands in surrender to the overwhelming overflow of change (especially in education). For the good of our students, we can't give up that easily. There is hope, and it comes neatly packaged in a simple idea - "risk taking."
Why is risk taking so important?
Taking a risk
- The first step to taking a risk is acknowledging personal/organizational anxiety over a change that has happened which requires a different response.
- The second step is developing an actionable plan that provides an adequate response to that change.
- The third step is determining what success and failure might look like and accepting the consequences for both.
- Finally, the fourth step is taking action -- going for it by taking the risk.
Sharing your risk
Understandably, for many of us the risk we take might simply be putting ideas out there for others see. We encourage you to think about the act of publicly sharing your risk with others as a way of building a network with others -- a network that just might be able to offer support, insight, or perspective based upon their experiences.