Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.- Franklin P. Jones
I was thinking that once school was out for the summer, things would settle down a bit…but with 7 presentations and a keynote speech to deliver the first week I was out, it has been anything but quiet.
I was honored to be asked by Jenny Grabiec to give the keynote speech to The Fletcher School in Charlotte and spend a day there with their wonderful educators. It was a great experience and I met some really dedicated folks there. The second half of the week, I was also honored to be asked by Margaret Gunter to speak at the iSummit conference in Atlanta. I gave 6 presentations there on various topics using iPads in the classroom and also met great people. I found I had a small fan club camped out in the back of my room for the 2 days I was there. I even managed to slip into a couple of sessions given by others that were inspiring and informative. The keynote speaker in Atlanta was Angela Maiers and she hit a home run with her Be Brave keynote.
After that week of presenting, I found myself trying to really make sense of all I had experienced. I had done most of the talking for those 5 days, but the conversations with those educators in both cities combined with the sessions I had managed to sit in on, left my head spinning.
My take away from that week was that even though I was the one doing the presenting, the participants were the ones who inspired me. They are at the heart of the Be Brave rule. Many are stepping into a classroom in the fall and for the first time will have iPads. I remember that feeling of excitement at having the devices, but also the fear of what to do with them, AND doing it well.
Bravery isn’t something we are born with. It is something you acquire over time with life experiences. You can practice being brave by challenging yourself with new experiences. Life is full of risk and we fear failure. We carry the weight of our classrooms on our shoulders and struggle under the burden of always being right or successful in our teaching. But…fear can paralyze us and keep us from trying new things. It stagnates us and lulls us into ruts and routines. It also infects our students who learn safety rather than bravery.
One of the blogs I read is by Matt B. Gomez and he wrote about bravery here. His rule for his students is to Be Brave. I love this rule and incorporated into my own classroom last year. But… what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. We too, have to be brave and step out of our comfort zone. This is how we grow. Since I’ve become an Apple Distinguished Educator, I’ve had to dig deep for bravery at times when speaking to a very large group.
The teachers I’ve been with so far this summer are demonstrating bravery. The first step is just showing up! What do you say? Is this the summer you sow some brave seeds of change?
Today we will learn exciting new things. Let’s get to it!
photo credit: Creative Commons