One Thing that Scares Me

March 16, 2017

 

Part of me feels awkward admitting what I'm about to share. However, I think transparency and purpose should prevail over my own insecurities...so here goes.

 

Whenever I facilitate sessions at conferences, I try to integrate different communication tools into the learning and reflection time. I share how I use these tools to initiate dialogue and build relationships. I also try to model seamless integration so educators can envision how different approaches might support and transform their regular workflow. (The video clip above was taken at #NCTIES17 earlier this month, and provides a good picture of what I'm talking about.)

 

You might be surprised to know that I always feel a little uncomfortable when I pull out my iPad to co-create a video podcast right alongside attendees. It's not that I have an aversion to the camera. What scares me is making others uncomfortable with the process. Technically speaking, my fear is twofold.

 

First, I have empathy for those who would rather be audited by the IRS than share a public reflection on camera. Second, I recognize that some people also feel uncomfortable being invited to share even if they know it's optional.

 

Although it may not come across on camera, I really do feel for anyone who might be uncomfortable being right in the middle of new and public learning. After all, not everyone who signs up for a conference automatically wants to be on YouTube. Right?!

 

To this point I've led you to believe that the one thing that scares me most is making others uncomfortable. I apologize because this is not the case. It was just background information. What really scares me most are educators who are not at conferences...or not learning new and relevant practices in some other meaningful way.

 

I'm scared of my peers who are not learning and pushing themselves to innovate (with or without technology). I'm downright fearful of anyone who dismisses "different" because they don't understand it, or because it makes them uncomfortable. (I'm also a little leery of anyone who is perpetually learning how to get better at the way we've always done things, but this is a topic for another day.)

 

I'm not scared of these things for me; I'm scared for our students. In many cases our students are fearless, and they need us to be alongside them asking the right questions.

 

I'm afraid that some educators have opted out of their responsibility to relevant learning (sometimes unknowingly). So that's my one thing. What's yours?

 

*Special thanks to the school leaders in North Carolina (and at #NCTIES17 specifically) who spent a day pushing themselves to reflect, grow, and consider the benefits to students when we think differently.

 

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Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 

 

Connect on email at:

AdjustingCourse@gmail.com

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