Have you ever seen the movie Hope Floats? There's a quote in the movie that's stuck with me ever since I saw it.
"...beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too..."
Beginnings are scary...that moment just as the race is about to begin...I hate it. Finding the joy in anticipation is something I've never mastered. Whenever I start something new, I want to be in the middle of it, with some knowledge behind me and more to gather. I realize as I think about this how much this impacts my everyday life. "...beginnings are scary..." Yes, but I 'd never taken the time to think about it before. There are days when I feel like I could live my life in the middle, without the scary or the sad. Intellectually, I know that's wrong, but emotionally, it's what I want until I think about WHY. The lessons, the really good lessons, are usually in the beginning or the end...in the scary or the sad. Learning, good & meaningful learning, is scary. It's uncomfortable and it requires risk taking and trying new things. It requires failure. I don't like failure. I resist that. There.
That's my confession for the day.
I am a teacher and I'm scared of failing.
Ha! It's true! You just saw a light bulb. Writing about this and thinking about things I'm struggling with at school and on my own, I just figured out that I'm scared of some of these new things. Resisting and resisting loudly has shown me that there's something good there and I have to keep digging to discover what I'm afraid of. I'm afraid of failing. I'm afraid of losing control. I'm afraid of not being good enough. I prefer to fail in private, but there's no risk in that...and no payoff. How often do I learn something alone? Learning requires failure. I'm going to repeat that (for myself, mostly): learning requires failure. I tell my students all the time, "That's a great wrong answer, it means you're almost there." If I expect that of them, what about me? I work to make a safe environment for my students to learn and fail and learn...I need to make my environment safe to learn and fail and learn.
My life is full of beginnings right now...so much so that I almost want to change my word of the year. Beginning new ways of teaching and collaborating & beginning new professional development relationships & beginning a new path in my personal life. Beginnings follow endings. Some of the endings I've recently lived through have been deeply SAD, but I need to begin. Get up! Begin! Fail! Learn! Fail!Learn! I expect that of my students everyday. It's my turn.