I grew up in a small town with deep-rooted traditions. We did things because that’s the way we had always done them. To this day, when I go back to that small town, nothing much has changed. Don’t get me wrong; I loved growing up in a small town. I loved that everyone knew each other and I loved how simple things were.
After leaving that small town and getting my very first teaching job in the big city, it took me a long time to realize that not everyone thought the way I thought or had the same values that I had. I had to learn to accept different opinions, different ways of life, different beliefs and different expectations. Moving away from that small town in my early 20s forced me to open my eyes to learning to live with and work with many different people. I had to take a leap of faith. For the first time in my life, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know the cashier at the grocery store or the people who were driving the cars that I passed as I drove to and from work. I didn’t know the families of my students like I did back in my small hometown. But, by taking the leap of faith many years ago, I grew. I changed. I learned. I became a different person. I didn’t abandon or discount all that I learned growing up in my small town. Instead, I expanded my view of the world.
I tell the story of this leap of faith because as educators, it’s very easy to get stuck in the “way we’ve always done things” mentality. It’s easy to be afraid to take a leap of faith.
I challenge you to think of a time when something made you uncomfortable. Think about the excuses that went through your head; the “what ifs,” the “yea buts,” the doubts, and the complaints.
Now, think about a time that despite those “what ifs,” you did it anyway. Think about a time that you jumped in; a time you took a leap of faith. What was the pay off? In what ways did you grow and change? Where are you today simply because you took a chance when something was scary?
Right now, we are all taking a leap of faith. We’re jumping in head first as we redesign elementary education. We don’t know what to expect. This isn’t the way we’ve always done it. I can’t predict the outcome, but what I can predict is that we’ll learn, our students will learn, we’ll grow, our students will grow, we’ll change and our students will change.
Thanks for taking the leap with me.
Here is your staff update for May 20th.