Do not fear the night. This is a quote in The Night Parade. A great spirit tells this to the main character as her challenges seem to be too great. In the story a darkness is threatening to destroy the spirit world. I find the quote is so applicable in teaching life.
We ask students all the time to work in partners, read a section of the book or text aloud, give a presentation or even to take a test. All of these things require courage. Many people myself included suffer from anxiety. Having to speak in front of a group, work with others, be observed by other teachers or in the kids case to be assessed by their classmates can be a huge burden to overcome.
It is a fine line but we need to push ourselves and others to hold close to courage, and not fear the night. I feel that “night” here can mean unknown. I am a firm believer in the idea that asking students to cold read a passage that may not be their level in front of the class is cruel and unusual punishment but giving a student a text you know they can read, giving them time to practice that text and then asking if they would be comfortable trying to read it for the class gives them a chance to hold close to courage without the deck stacked against them.
We need to let our kids or students know it is ok to fail. It is ok to not get it perfect or even remotely close to perfect as long as it does not mean they won’t try again. We must remind them to hold close to courage. To tackle challenges and take risks. They don’t always pay off but when they do those are the moments we remember most.
I think I want this to be my motto for next year. My personal blog once had a post. “I can do hard things” this goes hand in hand with that thinking. Hold close to courage and we can do hard things.