PSD70 Learning Coach Program

A Parkland School Division Blog Site

Is it Worth the Risk?

 

Photo Credit: joserrai via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: joserrai via Compfight cc

I’m not a real risk-taker.  That’s not to say I don’t try new things or that I don’t push myself out of my comfort zone.  I do.  But I generally don’t seek out risks.  Since becoming a learning coach, though, that’s exactly what I have tried to encourage teachers (and students) to do.  I realize that sounds hugely hypocritical, but in the process it turns out I have actually started to take a few more risks myself.  It hasn’t always been comfortable and it definitely hasn’t always been successful, but usually I am happy for the risks that I have taken.  Occasionally, though, it ends with, “That was a bit of a disaster.  Why did I do that?”  Not too long ago I had one of those days, but by some crazy coincidence, I received this post “How to Deal With Criticism When You Take Consistent Risks” by A.J. Juliani the very next day in my Inbox.  I can’t say the title really grabbed me (and again, I certainly wouldn’t say my life is full of “consistent risks”), but I read it and I’m glad I did.  Juliani not only acknowledges that with anything new comes criticism, he encourages looking closer for the feedback that might actually help make you better, and he supports the use of that criticism as a motivator for newer and better things.  One more thing: he feels that sharing your “criticism stories” might help others.  It turns out he was right.  I’m not done being uncomfortable just yet.

  • dlander says:

    Thank you for this insight, Twyla! As growth agents, learning coaches do take a lot of risks.
    Glad you provided the link to the article. It certainly promotes a growth mindset. I particularly love the way it ends- it really speaks to the work you do and leaves us with great advice:
    “My final thought is this: Are you doing good work, with good people, for good reasons?
    If you can answer yes to each of those, then push forward, because the world needs your voice…regardless of the feedback you may receive along the way.”

    March 16, 2015 at 9:12 pm
  • pwierstra says:

    What a positive view on “criticism”..or feedback! I would agree that being a Learning Coach has taken us out of our comfort zone and I too find that I am taking more risks and stepping out and trying new things or approaches. I also am very comfortable with the conversation that feel “critical” or “resistant” and no longer get that uncomfortable feeling and panic ~ now I just go straight to “tell me more” or “I really want to understand this”.
    I look forward to reading that article/post!!

    February 27, 2015 at 10:39 am

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