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Get Up More Times Than You Fall

A month ago, I was at the beach.  I realize it seems strange to start a 30-Day Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge with a story about summer, but it is relevant.  Stick with me.  For a blissful week, I spent time relaxing, reading, daydreaming and watching for dolphins.  There was group of teenagers who came to the beach every day to surf.  This fact alone impressed me.  They had clearly done their homework, because they arrived just as the waves were surf-able.  They laughed, joked, sang and had a great time.  They also fell down.  A lot.

In my imagination, surfing seems carefree and fun.  It isn't.  For every wave they successfully surfed, these guys wiped out at least ten times.  Some of the falls looked painful.  Others were simply embarrassing.  But after each fall, they got right back up.  Every single one of them.

In thinking about the new school year, I have been afraid of wiping out.  Our school is undergoing big and important changes.  It seems scary.  We have restructured the schedule, moved teachers around, and lost a beloved administrator.  There will be new students, new faculty members, new technologies, new procedures, new responsibilities and new curricula.  I am going to fall down.  A lot.

My goal is to be more like those surfers.  I want to be able to show up prepared, bringing with me the tools, skills and determination I need to be successful.  I want to laugh, joke, sing and have fun - even in those moments when the waves seem overwhelming and the odds are not in my favor.  Most importantly, I want to be able to keep getting up.  I will fall.  Sometimes, it will be painful.  Other times, embarrassing.  But like the surfers, I must remember to get up more times than I fall.


  1. I needed to read this. Thank you for writing it. I am starting blogs with my 150 students this year. (I realize I'm a little late to the party on this.) Even though I want my students to experience the power of an authentic audience, I am afraid of going forward. I'm afraid that managing this will get to be too much and I won't follow through. I am going to remember this post.

  2. Education right now is so wavy- so full of ups and downs. Riding "prepared" but being open to the flow is what we have to do to help students. Thanks for the post!


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