Risk.

slice of lifeI felt my heart beating faster than normal. Ok, it was pounding. My palms were sweaty. I was minutes away from leading a discussion of thousands of people. Me! It was a risk, but one I wanted to take. But what if I messed up? Looked stupid? At least they wouldn’t be able to see me. In fact, I happened to be in my pajamas.

* * * 

Risk. It’s been said you can’t grow without it. We think it’s true. We’ve both taken small risky steps over the past few years that have pushed us out of our comfort zones. The above story is about one of us leading a Twitter chat for educators around the world. What a thrill! But a thrill that was only possible with a certain amount of risk.

We’ve risked other things, taken other steps. Putting our writing out for the world to read through blogging. (Slicing, is in fact, risky.) Stepping out into the global community through Twitter and other means. Both of us have taken on new positions in our schools.

There’s risk in all these things.

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But look at the rewards risk can bring. New friends and support systems. New ideas. Opportunities to connect in a bigger way.

A troubled student found his way by risking in our school play recently. The struggling little boy stood in the front row and belted out song after song. It was so unlike him, but he was determined to do it right. And at the end, he cried after a very special teacher whispered to him, you did a great job. He knew it was true. He risked and he grew.

What have you risked lately in the name of growth? What have you asked your students to risk?

We’d love to hear.

To see all of the day’s Slice of Life posts, head over to Two Writing Teachers.

Darla & Jen

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18 thoughts on “Risk.

  1. I led a Twitter chat for the first time recently too. I was scared to death. One of my students spoke at a school assembly a few weeks ago about her mom’s drug overdose. Even scarier. But as you said, risk has its rewards. Trying to weigh the benefits versus the negatives is the tricky part.

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  2. Oh, risk uncovers such unchartered waters. My biggest risk in my professional life was leaving the classroom two years ago- the position of coach is one of inherent risk over and over again. I can picture that little boy belting out some tunes- I can draw on his courage. Thanks!

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  3. Risk is riskier because sometimes we do FAIL. Face plant fail but with that comes perseverance and then growth. Remembering this is sometimes tricky when the risk presents itself but doing so is part of wisdom.

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  4. LOL! I thought of our Google chats — I wondered if I should put on makeup to see you. I almost think it was riskier to host the Twitter chat in your pajamas! (What if someone found out?) LOL. When you risk, you grow, that’s for sure. I love reading your posts on Twitter — I need to make more time for the wonderful chats; I always learn from them! Have a great weekend!

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    • Just joining that writing group was a big risk for me! I’m terribly shy, and I die a million deaths when I have to meet new people. Anyway, the Twitter chat experience belonged to Darla who is co-writing the blog with me. Our little group should make some time to meet up again soon! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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  5. I teach speech, including a dual credit class in our local university’s early college program, so I see the fear of public speaking up close and personal daily. My students don’t see my fear, but it’s there. I share the story of my journey to becoming a speech teacher, but it’s hard for them to grasp its reality. We I speak at NCTE annual convention, I get very nervous. Any new speaking situation still creates butterflies in my stomach.

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  6. I led a Twitter chat two weeks ago. It was not quite that big. Funny how nervous we get, even though, or possibly because, we are not face to face. Kudos for facing this challenge so successfully. Will you hold another chat? Would love to get it on my calendar (if I didn’t attend).

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    • Hi! Darla hosted #satchat one weekend which is such a big group of people tweeting at record speed! Together we will be hosting a TeachWriting chat about living the writerly life this Tuesday at 9pm EST. We hope you can join us! Please let us know if you have any upcoming chats too. We would love to learn with you.

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      • I am facilitating a chat for our state reading council at #KSRAchat on the 4th Thursday of each month. It is open to anyone; not state focused. Right now at 8, but last month F&P had their chat at the same time, so I might have to change to 7 pm. Kate Messner was our first guest. Next one is on Total Participation Techniques. I teach in Tuesday nights. But will stay tuned for future Tuesday’s.

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    • Aileen, please keep me posted about the TPT chat. We are doing a book club on this. Would love to attend and invite some staff. Is that 7pm last Thursday in March?
      Thanks!
      Darla

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  7. I am presenting to a group of student teachers in about two weeks. I know this will lead to growth for me hopefully for them also.

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  8. I have been teaching internationally for five years, and while I love helping people online and answering questions on my blog, I still feel too nervous to lead groups or workshops in person. Still working up to it I guess. SOL is a great opportunity to widen my audience and take baby steps toward the kind of risk you are talking about. Thanks for sharing!

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