William Sprankles @wsprankles
How comfortable are you?
It’s a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon and I am lying on the couch watching the Bengals play. Is this comfort? (they lost….rats!) Is holding your significant other’s hand while walking through Target comfort? What about at work? Are you comfortable with your job? Your performance? Are you comfortable with your level of comfort? Should you be comfortable at work? To what extent? Could you be too comfortable? The British SAS are one of the premier military units in the world. Special Forces began with them. They have a saying, “Who dares…..Wins.” Are you daring?
Too often we gravitate to what we are comfortable with. It is what we know and what we can expect. Even if we are failing at what we are attempting to do, if we have continued to fail, there is a sense of comfort in that known failure as opposed to the unknown failure that comes with risk.
I had been teaching the same classes for years. My students were learning and our test scores showed this, but I was missing something, I was bored. I was too comfortable. I needed a change and a risk. I was not necessarily looking for an opportunity to fail, but I was willing to take it, if it was part of the package for a new challenge. So I applied and was offered a new gig. For some reason, having a position that is not well defined appealed to me. Maybe it was the uncertainty. Maybe it was the challenge. Or maybe it was the uncomfortable unknown that came with the position and a new challenge.
I challenge you to ask yourself, are you too comfortable? Do you need a change? A risk? A new and or different challenge? Do you need to dare to be uncomfortable?
What would you risk in the classroom if you knew you couldn’t fail?
What is keeping you from taking that chance? We all have busy lives that for educators got busier this year. Many of us use the excuse that we have too many students to try something new. Or that our students aren’t smart enough, or the parent support is not there, or the administration doesn’t understand me or something else in the same vein. Some or all of those may certainly be valid, but think about this, what could you do, if you could do what you wanted? What would you risk? What chances would you take to see your students and your classes in a different way? Would you teach with videos of yourself teaching? Would you assess and guide with projects only? What about students learning in a class where you didn’t speak a word for an entire day or use paper for an entire week?
Maybe our comfort level is keeping us from daring to take chances. Maybe, if we concentrate on taking chances, we could change all that we see and know for the better. Is there risk? Sure! C ould you fail? Absolutely! But we take these chances every day, in hopes that maybe, just maybe, we find a whole new way of doing things that not only rocks our world, but our students’ worlds as well.
Remember, Who Dares….Wins!
Instructional Coach, Educator