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  • Writer's pictureMike Ward

Can you escape risk?

So for several years in the beginning my career, I worked very diligently to minimize my vulnerability by avoiding risk. NOTE: I still was considered a pretty crazy social studies teacher by most conventional standards. However, in looking back I can also see a young teacher that was engineering a zone of familiarity, security, and comfort in the classroom in order to escape risk. I may have been really good at pushing my students limits, but I was not good at pushing my own personal limits. The same patterns and routines are apparent in many new teachers seeking order in a classroom. Once the pattern is established, it becomes more and more difficult to realize that these habits will/may also hold you back from the growth necessary to keep your professional world exciting and rewarding.

About two years ago, I decided to take a big risk and test the limits. At one of the darkest chapters in our districts negotiating history, I decided to accept a position as the Teachers Association's President. It was tough at first and I certainly had my doubts. In looking back however, I risked believing in myself and the payoff has been significant. That decision might have been the best thing that my old safe self would have never wanted. I jumped knowing that I would grow wings along the way and now I am flying high. Something rarely uttered by teachers with nearly 30 years of service.

Sound familiar? Are you pushing your personal limits? Risking believing in yourself and the rewards may be great!

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