I Commit to Taking a Risk ... with Students

At The One Conference, a conference that our team recently organized in our district, the pinnacle of the day was something that could have been easily overlooked. 

It was a display of poster boards with each school's name that read "I Commit..."  The intent was that every staff member would take a moment to reflect on the day, to reflect on what the learning meant to their professional practice, and to make a commitment in writing to trying something new with their students before the school year ends.

While seemingly small, the central message in this activity is that we need to convert our professional learning into professional action.

So many wonderful ideas, tools, and practices were shared at The One Conference.  Thank you again to our many marvelous presenters who were daring enough to share with their colleagues.  It is now our responsibility as professional educators to turn those engaging, meaningful, and creative ideas into something more substantial than just great ideas.  We have to put them into practice with our students. 

While many of us may feel we still do not have the "skills" needed to attempt these practices or using these tools on our own, that is not a good enough reason to avoid trying new things with our students. We can overcome that lack of technical skill or know-how with our willingness to step forward and take a risk.  Risk taking is a deeply personal affair -- every person's tolerance related to risk varies dramatically. That's good -- it means we can try things that are just beyond our comfort level and still have it be a risk. When we take that risk, that's when we have an opportunity to learn and grow (and we give our kids an opportunity to learn and grow in new ways as well).

Many of us are starting to think about where we will implement our new strategies and tools we learned about and committed to at The One Conference this semester.  Acknowledge that you are taking a risk and you are doing so for the benefit of your students.  Thank you for your commitment to them.  If you need support along the way, please be willing to reach out and connect.  There are plenty of people eager to support you as you take that risk!