Does your Face and Space Encourage Risk-Taking?

Erica Zip line
If you don’t try, you’ll never know.

I took Erica and Chris to a birthday party at an adventure park last weekend.  Treetop obstacle courses and zip lines make for an adrenaline boosting experience! However, it was the first time for all of us and it was quite intimidating in the beginning.

I watched intently as the park instructors and staff prepared my kids for their adventure, strapping on their harnesses with pulleys and providing an overview and safety briefing…and they were off.  My mom senses were well aware that wrapped in my children’s excitement was a bit of anxiety and doubt.  I am pretty sure my heart was in my throat at this point, but I had to put on the  “mom face” which told Erica and Chris:

  1. I have confidence in your abilities even when you doubt yourself.
  2. I will be here for you either to support and guide you from the ground or as a partner strapped in a harness by your side.
  3. I want you to enjoy this experience to the very end, but if you don’t make it through the entire course, we can live to “fly” another day.

Eric and Chris Zipline

Classroom Connection

What does your “teacher face” say to your students when it comes to taking academic risks? Do you have emotional and intellectual connections with your students that foster risk-taking?  How do you support students in conquering  their academic fears?

Creating Space for Risk  speaks to the importance of student ownership over learning and redefining failure in the classroom.  I encourage you to explore this brief read and reflect on the following questions:

How do my students demonstrate ownership over their learning?

Is failure in my classroom instructive or destructive?

How is this blogger ever going to match this party 🙂  ?

Have a great evening,

Dr. Joy

You might also be interested in the following links.

Helping Children Take Good Risks

Creating a Safe Space for Students to Take Academic Risks.

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