Why Risk?

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do something every day that scares you.”  It is January 8, 2012 and today, for me, that something is starting this blog.

Until a few years ago, I was not known as someone who took risks.  I play it safe.  I like the rules.  I am comfortable with routines.  But I am also curious and love to learn.  And I found that it’s really difficult to learn when I play it safe by staying inside of my own routine.

More than anything, I wanted to travel to the Middle East.  When an opportunity to travel to Saudi Arabia presented itself, I was excited and scared. My husband encouraged me to take the risk and I submitted my application. When I received my acceptance in the mail, I had only four days to send my passport to Houston for a visa and I was petrified. I had a two-year-old at home and I was not sure I could leave the country, never mind travel to a place with such an ominous reputation. But I took it step by step and breathed… a lot.  And, as it turned out, this journey was one of the most life-changing experiences of my life.

From that time, whenever I get nervous about a change or scared of the worst-case-scenario, I remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice and remind myself of all that I learned from that first big risk. Then, I usually take the leap and it’s almost always worth it.

I expect much of this blog to be about the risks I take to grow as a teacher. With timed class periods, prescriptive schedules, and standardized curriculums all just a click away, teachers are encouraged to stick with routines and we have to make conscious choices to shake things up.  But the goal of this space is broad.  I hope to recognize and celebrate all the many risks we take as individuals, parents, partners, teachers, students, and friends.  It is also to celebrate the many people who support the risks we take and bear the weight of their consequences.  For good or for bad, we always learn and grow.



At the edge of a windy turret, Krak des Chevaliers, Homs, Syria