I read Laura Coughlin’s post “I Want to Teach Out on a Limb” the other day, and it definitely got me thinking about my fears.
I think my biggest fear is failure. I am afraid to fail. Because of this, I sometimes don’t take the chances and risks I could (or should). There is that little voice in my head that tells me if I don’t try something big, I don’t have to worry about failing.
And yet, I expect my students to try new things, jump off the ledge, and go for it – even if they do fail. Because I know, logically, that you can learn more from failure than success. I also know that when I take a leap, my friends will be there to be pick me up if I fall, or to help me soar if I succeed.
How can I ask my students to take risks if I don’t?
I’ve been slowly learning this lesson. The first time I applied for Honeywell’s Space Academy for Educators, I did not get in to the program. I was sad and wondered how a complete space geek like me could not get in. However, I didn’t let failure hold me back, and the next time I applied, I was accepted. I then applied for advanced academy my first year out, and I did not expect to get in, but I did!
Next my Team Kennedy inspirations shared information about the NASA Summer of Innovation mini grants, so I decided to apply. I knew I had nothing to lose if I “failed” and much to gain for my students if I succeeded. Yesterday, I found out that I had been awarded the grant!
I am not so afraid of failing now. I have had a few experiences of trying for things and not making it. It still takes a leap, though. I am reminded of the quote we saw at a presentation while at KSC: Dare Mighty Things. So, what will I dare to try next? I have decided to apply for the Google Teacher Academy New York. I am pretty sure it’s a long shot, but I won’t have any chance at all if I don’t at least try.