Monday, July 4, 2016

Try Everything #SOL16

"...Sometimes we come last but we did our best.
I won't give up, I won't give in. 
Till I reach the end, then I'll start again. 
No, I won't leave. 
I want to try everything. 
I want to try even though I could fail." 
-"Try Everything", Zootopia theme song



Comfort zones are, well, comfortable. Safe. Secure. Risk-free. Doing what you've always done can be quite appealing, when the flip-side is trying something new and unfamiliar.

Yet. 

My greatest moments of growth, of making memories, of becoming more than I thought I could be, the moments that changed the trajectory of my life- have always occurred OUTSIDE of my comfort zone. The moments where I was scared and uncomfortable, where a deep breath was needed and a leap of faith was taken. 

This summer has presented me with a few opportunities that are exciting...but frightening. Dreams of mine possibly coming true, pushing myself to grow as a teacher and presenter....but I am scared. What if I get it wrong? What if I let people down? What if I am not good enough for these opportunities? What if I give it my all and still fail? 

My new favorite song, "Try Everything", from Zootopia, is perfect for growth mindset conversations, as well as the constellation of stances discussed in Mraz and Hert's Mindset for Learning. Optimism, resilience, flexibility, persistence, empathy- it's all there. Plus, it's a really catchy song. As I've been bopping along to it in the car, I've been thinking how it's a song that makes me feel light and enthusiastic and brave. I need to feel all of those things as I push myself to be more, to grow, to take chances, and to believe in myself. I want to try everything. And I want my students to try everything, too. 

Tomorrow, I will be co-facilitating the Long Island Writing Project Summer Mini-Institute with an incredible educator, Ms. Lauren Jensen (recent recipient of the Milken Educator Award, thank you very much). We will be sharing a lot of ideas for teaching writing in the digital age and ways to grow as an educator. I will specifically be sharing about Twitter and blogging. I hope the educators joining us will take a deep breath and give it a go- be ready to "try everything." As you sail along in your summer, I hope you are also finding ways to tiptoe, step, or leap out of your comfort zone, too. (Leave a comment and share your story!)