About this time each year my wife and I embark on some type of a journey. Our journey allows us to get away from town for a few days and requires us to take a break from our everyday life. This year our journey took us up into the rocky mountains of Colorado. As you can imagine there are many adventures to be had in the rocky mountains. The adventure I am going to share with you here happened by accident.
No not that kind of accident. More of a happy accident. Amanda and I were finishing up a hike with our dog on the continental divide trail when we came across a young lady that had just dismounted her bike at the sign marking the continental divide.
Sidebar: Off an on during our time in the rockies we had seen cyclist churning their legs fiercely up and down the different mountain roads. Both Amanda and I were amazed at their determination and touch of craziness to ride a bike on a mountain highway with thousands of feet in elevation changes. Some of these roads would make a mountain goat blink and these cyclists are on their bikes with vehicles passing just inches from them while on a mountain side. Scary stuff man. End Sidebar.
When the three of us approached our dog greeted her with a smile and she smiled back at our dog. The young lady then asked me to take a picture of her with her iPhone because she was struggling with taking a selfie that included the large sign marker. Being a selfie kind of guy myself I gladly agreed to take the photo. A conversation soon began.
When we asked where she was headed she told us that she was riding her bike across America. She is from Maryland and is riding to California. We asked if she had planned stops along the way and she did somewhat but it was dependent upon her progress. Sometimes she slept outside in a tent and sometimes she slept where someone would put her up for the night. She had been on the road since June 15 and she planned to arrive in about 2 weeks to California.
She wasn't riding for a cause. She wasn't trying to raise awareness. She was just pushing herself and doing what she wanted to do. My wife and I admired her spirit and her courage. We wished her the best on her journey. Before we went our separate ways I asked her if I could take a selfie with her to share her story with others. With a laugh she said "Sure thing!"
Are you willing to do what needs to be done for the sake of improving education for your students?
After our chance encounter I began to think about risk taking and being brave. Real change in schools will not happen unless you are brave enough take that risk. Taking a risk is scary, much like riding your bike on a mountain side. You have to be brave and perhaps you need a touch of crazy too but you must also be willing. You must be willing to take a risk to achieve what you want to achieve.
So here is my question for you. Are you willing to do what needs to be done for the sake of improving education for your students? If so, you must be willing to shake things up. I am not talking about reckless abandonment or change for change sake. I am talking about being willing to look at what you are doing and make the changes you need to make in your practice because it just isn't working for your students.
Be willing to ask yourself and others the hard questions. Reflect upon those answers and then make the changes you know you need to make. Your students need you to be brave. Your students need you to be willing. Be Willing.
Think. Achieve. Succeed.
A lifelong learner that is committed to asking questions to seek greater understandings.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
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