Pushing the boundaries and taking calculated risks is a must for every teacher. Each class, each student will present to you a unique challenge. I realized early on in my career that administration didn’t always have the solutions these challenges. These challenges can be very demanding and they can seem unreasonable and sometimes. That’s why I believe that teacher are leaders. It takes the mindset of a leader to take initiative to find solutions when they aren’t easily available. Some solutions require that you think outside the box or settle for mediocre results.
Leaders have a responsibility to constantly monitor what does and what doesn’t work. That means you have to always be thinking about the future. You have to ask yourself, “How can I improve this for my students?” As time goes on, conventional thinking becomes less than adequate to engage students and help them find success. As a result, you will have to be open to change and taking calculated risks. These types of adjustments become they represent new, unknown opportunities for student growth. Although there is uncertainty, the possibility that students will benefit greatly is too important to pass up. Here is a list of 3 things you can do to prepare yourself for your next calculated risk.
1. Talk with your supervising administrator about taking calculated risks
When you engage your administration about risk-taking, you are giving them the opportunity to learn more about your ideas and what you hope to accomplish. This ensures that they won’t be surprised if they come by your room and witness something different. Typically, principals are excited to learn that teachers are open to trying something new and innovative in the classroom.
2. Write out your plans
When you take the time to write your plans down, you are guarding yourself against any possible oversight. While there are no guarantees when taking a risk, it does help to plan and calculate ahead of time.
3. Get feedback on your plan, even if it’s from someone who disagrees
You gain a better perspective when you ask others to look at your plans. Perhaps there is something that you missed. Seek out your colleagues for feedback, even those who are prone to disagreement and pessimism. Take the feedback you can use and leave the rest.
Begin your journey to becoming a risk taker. Here is a question to get you started: when is the last time you did something for the first time?